Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and healthcare facilities will remain open, as residents are ordered to remain home except for essential needs.
This order matches recent ones issued in neighboring counties of the Kansas City area, including Johnson, Wyandotte and Leavenworth counties, and will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, March 24, to give residents and employers time on Monday to make preparations. The order is effective until April 23, unless otherwise amended.
“With full community cooperation, this proactive public health order can minimize the impact of COVID-19 on our Douglas County community,” Marcellino said.
Vulnerable populations including the elderly and those with underlying health conditions must stay-at-home. All community members should stay at home except to perform essential duties for business continuity or government functions, to get food, care for a relative or friend, get necessary health care or perform activities related to maintaining a healthy lifestyle during this time.
It is all right to go outside for walks if you are not in a group and practice proper social distancing.
Some examples of “essential businesses” including:
Healthcare operations, essential infrastructure and essential government functions.
Establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, and any other household consumer products.
Businesses that provide food, shelter and social services, and other necessities of life for those economically disadvantaged.
Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair and servicing, emergency road services and related services and facilities.
Banks and related financial institutions.
Those who work in trades that provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of homes and essential operations or businesses.
Laundromats, dry cleaners and laundry service providers
Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food and beverages, but only for delivery or carry out and not for consumption on the premises.
Home-based care for seniors, adults or children.
Professional services, such as legal services, accounting services, real estate services, and insurance services.
Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in the order to work as permitted, given children are cared for in groups of 10 or fewer.
Mortuary, cremation and burial services.
Hotels and motels.
Manufacturing companies, distributors, and supply chain companies producing and supplying essential products and services.
The order does not prevent University of Kansas students from moving out of residence halls as they work through a process with KU Housing, and it also does not prevent employees for making a quick trip to get an item from their offices, if needed.
Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health has worked closely on these decisions with numerous community partners, including Douglas County Government, City of Lawrence, Douglas County Emergency Management and LMH Health.
For general information, call the KDHE phone bank at 1-866-534-3463, email [email protected] or call Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health’s Coronavirus line, 785-856-4343 or the LMH Health Coronavirus Line, 785-505-2819.
The new coronavirus is spreading quickly around the world, including across Kansas, and setting off a range of responses.
Kansas News Service is boiling down key developments in the state and
updating the status regularly here. To read this information in Spanish,
go here. This list was last updated at 2:10 p.m. March 31.
CASES AND DEATHS
430 cases, including two from out of state (see map for counties)
9 deaths (4 in Wyandotte County, 3 in Johnson County, 1 each in Sedgwick and Crawford counties)
NOTE: These figures only
include cases confirmed with lab tests and do not represent the real,
unknown total. Community transmission is occurring in parts of Kansas.
STATEWIDE ORDER TO STAY HOME
Gov. Laura Kelly
is instituting a statewide stay-at-home order as of 12:01 a.m. March
30. It will last until at least April 19. Stay-at-home orders allow
people to take care of essential activities (such as grocery shopping or
going to work) as well as exercise outside, but otherwise keep to
The state’s stay-at-home order supersedes at least
13 county-by-county orders. Should the state’s order lift before a
county’s is through, the county can choose to keep its own in effect.
SHOULD I SELF-QUARANTINE?
For the whole state: The Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) is now mandating home
quarantine for 14 days if you've traveled to the places listed below.
If you come down with symptoms (such as a fever of 100.4 degrees or
higher, coughing or shortness of breath) during those 14 days, contact
your health care provider and explain your potential COVID-19
Louisiana or anywhere in Colorado on or after March 27.
States with known widespread community transmission (California, Florida, New York and Washington) on or after March 15.
Illinois or New Jersey on or after March 23.
Eagle, Summit, Pitkin and Gunnison counties in Colorado (if your visit was March 8th or later).
ships or river cruises on or after March 15. Anyone previously told to
quarantine because of their cruise ship travel should also finish out
International destinations on or after March
15. Anyone previously told to quarantine because of their international
travel should also finish out their quarantine.
of March 27, Kansas health secretary Lee Norman said the state lab was
handling 175 samples a day. But Kansas will receive more equipment
within about a week that will let it handle 700 to 1,000 samples daily,
though shortages of specialized supplies such as nose swabs may still hamper work at times.
said there’s enough capacity in the state, now that testing has ramped
up through commercial labs and hospitals. State testing is reserved for
high-risk groups, such as sick nursing home residents and health care
workers. Others can ask their doctor or nurse practitioner to order
through private labs.
What Kansas still lacks is enough testing material to study COVID-19 rates among people without symptoms.
KANSAS HAS DECLARED A STATE OF EMERGENCY. WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
gives the state government more power to marshal resources and triggers
the state's response plan. The state Legislature has extended Kelly's
declaration through May (and can extend it), with the aim of giving her
the ability to make certain decisions when lawmakers aren’t in session.
On March 22, Kelly eased state rules
to expand the use of telemedicine, to temporarily license more health
workers and to allow heavier trucks on Kansas highways hauling relief
supplies. On March 23, she ordered a ban on evictions if a tenant was
unable to pay because of the coronavirus crisis. And she extended the
income tax filing deadline to July 15, in line with a delay for filing
federal tax forms.
HOW ARE UNIVERSITIES RESPONDING?
University of Kansas and Wichita State: All of them will go fully
online for the end of the school year. Students at K-State and KU will
need special exemptions to remain in dorms.
Washburn and Fort Hays State are online. Newman University expanded
spring break for two weeks (March 14 to March 29). Johnson County
Community College will close campus from March 14-29, and all courses
will restart online March 30. Pittsburg State started break a day early
and will resume classes indefinitely online on March 30.
HOW ABOUT K-12 SCHOOLS?
Laura Kelly and Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson have shut
down all K-12 schools, public, private and parochial, for the rest of
the 2019-20 school year. They had initially issued a strong
recommendation that schools close March 16 through 20.
Some county health departments had already issued similar orders.
A Kansas State Department of Education task force has issued guidance to school districts on how to continue some amount of student learning.
WHAT’S BEEN CANCELED OR SUSPENDED?
governor’s executive order temporarily banning landlords from evicting
businesses or residential tenants is effective until May 1. That same
order put in a moratorium on any mortgage foreclosures through the same
The governor mandated on March 23, through an executive order, that gatherings be restricted to less than 10 people.
Kansas state workers: Access
to the Statehouse is limited to official business only, and lawmakers
went on break early. Kelly wanted most state employees to stay home for
at least two weeks starting March 23.
State prisons: The
Kansas Department of Corrections ended visitation at all state
facilities, and will “re-evaluate on an ongoing basis.” It urges
families to talk to inmates through email, phone calls and video
Electric companies: Evergy, which serves
950,000 customers in Kansas, will not disconnect residential or business
services for an unspecified amount of time due to the “unprecedented
challenge” of coronavirus that “may result in customers facing
unexpected or unusual financial strain.”
Casinos: All four state-owned gaming facilities will close at the end of business on March 17, and remain so until at least March 30.
Public events: Many events and public places around the state have been canceled until at least the end of March.
Kansas State High School Athletics Association canceled the state
basketball tournament midway through it. And the Big 12 suspended spring
sports until March 29.
HOW BAD IS THE VIRUS?
usually causes mild to moderate symptoms, like a fever or cough. Most
people with mild symptoms recover in two weeks. More severe cases, found
in older adults and people with health issues, can have up to six
weeks’ recovery time or can lead to death.