Kansas will start reopening on May 4 as Gov. Laura Kelly lifts her stay-at-home order on Friday.
Kelly, a first-term Democrat, said that any businesses that can maintain at least 6 feet of distance between customers and adhere to certain other guidelines can reopen.
But a slew of businesses won’t be allowed to reopen for weeks, including bars, nightclubs, non-tribal casinos, museums, gyms, salons, and barbershops.
“Unfortunately, certain types of establishments, simply by the nature of the services they provide, require unavoidable human contact that cannot be responsibly mitigated or distanced at the present time, especially with our present limitations on personal protective equipment,” Kelly said at a press conference.
Community centers, entertainment venues, and swimming pools are also forbidden from reopening.
The second phase of reopening, which would allow the other businesses to reopen, won’t happen until at least May 18.
Phase two will let gyms, fitness centers, and personal care services reopen under limitations, non-tribal casinos welcome customers if they comply with guidelines, and bars and nightclubs to have people go inside if they limit occupancy to 50 percent.
If statistics relating to the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, a novel coronavirus from China that causes the disease COVID-19, continue trending well for Kansas, phase three will start on June 1, Kelly said.
All prohibitions on businesses and venues will be lifted during that phase. Other restrictions would be lifted on June 15 or later, depending on the number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations.
“This framework does not answer all of the questions I know still weigh heavily on your mind. We don’t know yet what school will look like in August or if college dorms will open to students for the fall semester,” Kelly said.
“It’s unclear what steps we need to take to protect our elections in August and November. I’m sure we’d all enjoy taking in a baseball game this summer or schedule that family vacation for a much needed rest outside the house.”
Kansas had 4,238 confirmed CCP virus cases as of April 30. Of the 523 total hospitalizations, 273 patients have been discharged. State officials have recorded 129 deaths linked to COVID-19.
The state saw 385 new cases on April 29, the highest daily case count yet.
The state doesn’t list how many patients recovered from the virus. Most patients experience no, mild, or moderate symptoms and recover through rest and symptom care. Others experience severe illness and require hospital care. A small percentage of patients die.
COVID-19 primarily affects the elderly and those with underlying health conditions. The median age of those who died in Kansas is 82, and 70.2 percent of those who died were 75 or older.
There is no proven treatment or vaccine. Work on both is ongoing and some existing drugs are begin given to patients with anecdotal effects.
The bulk of cases in Kansas are in seven counties: Leavenworth, Wyandotte, and Johnson in the east; Lyon in east-central; Sedgwick in central; and Ford, Finney, and Seward in the southwest.