Kansas Governor announces new gathering limit, puts statewide stay at home order on hold



Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly speaks at a media briefing on March 23 announcing the public gathering limit would decrease from 50 to 10.

Gov. Laura Kelly issued a new executive order today trimming the 50-person gathering limit down to a 10-person limit as a response to the quickly spreading COVID-19 pandemic. 

Kelly also gave an update on the possibility of a statewide stay at home order being issued. 

Currently, 89 of Kansas’s 105 counties do not have a confirmed COVID-19 case. Because of this, Governor Kelly said that they do not believe that a statewide stay at home order is yet necessary. 

However, Kelly said that this decision has a high possibility of changing in the near future.

“The crisis continues to evolve by the hour, and a statewide stay at home order may become unavoidable in the upcoming days,” Kelly said. 

While the statewide stay at home order has thus far been avoided, many Kansas counties have issued their own countywide orders. 

“These stay at home orders require that residents not venture out unless they are engaged in activities that are essential to the health and safety of themselves, their family members, or friends,” Kelly said.

Allowed activities include, but are not limited to, seeking medical help, purchasing food, and filling gas tanks.

“While none of us wanted to see these orders go into effect, they are necessary to slow the spread of the Coronavirus within these communities,” Kelly said. “I support our local officials as they make these difficult decisions.”

Johnson, Wyandotte, Leavenworth, Douglas, Atchison, Doniphan, Miami, and Lyon are currently the only counties in Kansas that have issued stay at home orders thus far. 

Kelly said a framework has been developed regarding stay at home orders that every county must follow to provide consistency and valid data collection.

As of March 23, there are 82 positive cases of COVID-19 in Kansas, two of those being in Sedgwick County.