Governor Kelly issues ‘Stay at Home’ order to all Kansans

What many people had been dreading and others had been hoping for happened over the weekend. Governor Laura Kelly issued a “Stay at Home” order on Saturday that became effective on Monday, March 30 at 12:01 a.m.

Governor Kelly issued the order as part of the ongoing efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19 in Kansas, making it the 22nd state in the nation to institute a temporary, statewide stay-home order.

“The order will exist in conjunction with the Kansas Essential Function Framework for COVID-19 response efforts. The measure will be in place at least until Sunday, April 19,” said Gov. Kelly. “Under the order, Kansans must remain at home unless going to work to perform an essential function; obtaining food, medicine or other household necessities; seeking medical care; caring for children, pets, family members or others; or exercising outside.”

The governor says she’s relying on Kansans to follow the order without enforcement, saying she does not want a “martial law state.”

“You can leave your house. You can still go outside. You are not under house arrest,” Governor Kelly said.

If you are uncertain if your business falls under the Kansas Essential Function Framework, you can go to to submit an “essential functions request and learn more about KEFF. The Marion County Health Department asks that you submit them a copy of the response that you get back so that they are informed as well.

The governor also mentioned that the Kansas legislature has extended unemployment benefits from 16 to 26 weeks.

Governor Kelly said,” Remember, we’re in this together. Stay home. Stay safe.”

President Trump signed federal disaster declaration for Kansas

President Donald Trump has signed a federal disaster declaration for the state of Kansas to support emergency measures within the state related to the COVID-19 virus.

The declaration authorizes federal funds for emergency protective measures not authorized under other federal statutes, including direct federal assistance, under the Public Assistance program for local, state, and Indian tribal governments, and certain private nonprofit organizations at 75 percent federal funding for all areas in Kansas. Additional designations may be made later if warranted by the results of further assessments.

“On behalf of the people of Kansas, I want to thank President Trump for granting this declaration,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “This money will go a long way toward protecting the emergency personnel who work tirelessly to stem the outbreak and care for those stricken by this virus. I thank them for their dedication and I also want to thank everyone who coordinates the many behind-the-scenes pieces of disaster management the public rarely sees, but are so important in protecting the health and safety of all Kansans.”

The request was made by Gov. Kelly March 26 for the disaster period beginning January 20 and continuing. As of March 30, Kansas has seen eight deaths due to COVID-19 and has 372 confirmed cases in 40 counties across the state.


Kansas Hospitals Support Stay Home Order

A statement from Kansas Hospitals:

As a community of hospitals, we support the statewide ‘stay home’ order issued by Governor Laura Kelly. This is an important part of ongoing efforts to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Governor Kelly explained the temporary ‘stay home’ order is necessary for three key reasons:

n To provide statewide uniformity in response efforts;

n To prevent overwhelming hospitals – especially rural hospitals – who may not have the same capacity to handle an influx of COVID-19 patients;

n To buy Kansas more time as the state officials work with federal partners to secure badly needed protective personal equipment (PPE), additional ventilators and COVID-19 testing supplies.

Social isolation and distancing will help reduce the spread of the virus and limit the exposure of vulnerable individuals. Reduced spread allows hospitals to manage health care resources in our communities. The public has an important role in helping reduce the spread of the virus.

The Kansas Hospital Association is a voluntary, non-profit organization existing to be the leading advocate and resource for members. KHA membership includes 220 member facilities, of which 123 are full-service, community hospitals. Founded in 1910, KHA’s vision is: “Optimal Health for Kansans.”

Local Hospitals now better able to test for COVID-19

Many local hospitals are now getting COVID-19 tests so they do not have to send patients away to get tests. Herington Hospital is one of them.

“Today is the first day in weeks that I feel the tightness in my chest relax a bit. We received what I consider to be good news for our hospital and community. With the waivers put in place by CMS and other governmental actions we are able to provide testing for the Coronavirus at Herington Hospital for our patients,” said CEO Isabel Scmedeman.

She said that their first order of test kits will be on-site on Wednesday, April 1, 2020.

“These tests are not a swab like for the flu. They will require we draw a blood sample. They take approximately 20 minutes to process. All other rules and procedures will remain in place with regard to a person has to be experiencing symptoms as outlined by the CDC regarding coronavirus. If a patient presents to the clinic or ER for care we will continue to first test for the flu and further assess the patient for a fever and respiratory symptoms but instead of calling KDHE and further taxing their overwhelmed system, we will be able to run the test here, on site when ordered by the provider,” said Scmedeman.

She said hospitals see this as a huge gift because it lets them know very quickly if they are dealing with COVID-19 so they can reduce the fear of the unknown and help reduce the stress associated with suspected exposure and long waits for testing results that have to be sent to an outside lab.

“Medicare and private insurances will cover these tests when used appropriately in the delivery of care,” said Scmedeman. “Please continue to follow the directions we have published intended to guide you as symptoms are present and know that should you need testing, we have what we need to support you.”

If you have questions, please call your local health care provide or hospital or check the KDHE website.

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