TOPEKA — Governor Laura Kelly announced that her administration, as well as officials with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, recommend that communities do not move into Phase Out of “Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas,” which was originally planned to begin June 22, and instead stay in Phase 3 for at least two more weeks.

“Though many Kansans and communities have been social distancing, wearing masks, and working hard over the past few weeks to mitigate the spread of the virus, we have unfortunately seen an increase in disease spread,” Governor Kelly said. “After consulting with Secretary Norman’s team at KDHE, I have decided that our state is not ready to move into the final phase of the ‘Ad Astra’ plan until July 6, 2020, at the earliest.”

The emergency disaster declaration issued by Kelly May 26 transfers reopening decisions back to local officials, which means counties continuing with Phase 3 of the plan is only a recommendation. However, the State continues to monitor health metrics daily, and remains committed to supporting local communities in a safe, gradual transition.

“My administration is dedicated to getting Kansans back to work and back to school, in the safest way possible. We can’t do that if every person and community does not follow the Phase 3 guidelines,” Governor Kelly said. “Please wear a mask, socially distance, and wash your hands often. Our state’s economic recovery depends on it.”

Key Phase 3 highlights for communities: Mass gatherings of more than 45 individuals are not recommended; All education, activities, venues and establishments may operate and are recommended to follow all public health guidelines; On-site staffing has no recommended restrictions; Nonessential travel may resume, provided travelers follow KDHE travel and quarantine guidelines for travel to high-risk areas.

As always, Kansans should continue to adhere to hygiene and social distancing protocols.

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