School to be delayed until after Labor Day in Kansas

UPDATE: Kansas school board rejects delaying in-person K-12 classes

TOPEKA, Kan. – Governor Laura Kelly today announced that on Monday, July 20, 2020, she will sign an executive order to delay opening schools until after the Labor Day holiday.

“I can’t in good conscience open schools when cases in our state are at an all-time high and continuing to rapidly rise,” Governor Kelly said. “Every action I have taken throughout this pandemic has been done to keep Kansans healthy, keep our state open for business and get our kids back in school.”

The Governor made this decision in consultation with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Kansas Department of Education, which are monitoring health metrics and disease spread in the state.

On Monday, a record coronavirus spike pushed Kansas past 20,000 total cases. ICU capacity in some of the state’s hospitals are under threat, and nearly 300 Kansans have died, according to Kelly.

The Governor will also issue an executive order requiring schools to mandate commonsense mitigation strategies outlined in the Kansas Board of Education’s fall plan for schools. Under the order, masks, social distancing, proper hygiene, and daily temperature checks will be enforced regardless of the Kansas school district.

“The additional three weeks before opening schools will provide schools time to work with their counties to get the necessary mitigation supplies like masks, thermometers, and hand sanitizer,” Governor Kelly said.“The Kansas State Board of Education and I are united in prioritizing the health of our students and faculty, and ensuring we provide a world-class education for our students.”

Further details will be announced next week after the order is released.

(This is a developing story, it will be updated as Kansas officials release more details of the executive order)