Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: As of May 28, officials in Kansas, US, have lifted most statewide COVID-19 restrictions, urge residents to limit gatherings.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Wichita, Kansas
  • Dodge City, Kansas
  • Manhattan, Kansas
  • Topeka, Kansas
  • Salina, Kansas
  • Liberal, Kansas
  • Hays, Kansas
  • Goodland, Kansas

This alert began 28 May 2020 11:00 GMT and is scheduled to expire 08 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Kansas (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Significant transport and business disruptions

Summary
As of May 28, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly has issued a proclamation that lifts almost all statewide business and movement restrictions but allows counties to issue their own restrictions to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Previously imposed statewide restrictions, including the state's economic recovery plan, are now recommendations for residents to follow. Nonetheless, any traveler entering Kansas from the states of Connecticut, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Jersey, or New York, or from abroad, are still mandated to self-quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival.

Authorities in Wyandotte, Shawnee, and Douglas counties said they would maintain the restrictions the state had originally imposed until June 8. Those restrictions limit gatherings to a maximum of 15 people and maintain the closure of bars and nightclubs, entertainment venues for more than 2,000 spectators, and swimming pools. Festivals, fairs, carnivals, parades, and summer camps are also canceled. All other businesses are allowed to open, albeit with size restrictions and health and safety guidelines.

Officials in Sedgwick and Johnson counties will only use the state's economic recovery plan as guidance, without ordering restrictions on businesses. State authorities continue to recommend residents to work from home whenever possible, to wear a face mask whenever in public, and to maintain a proper distance from others.

Transport and business disruptions are likely. Authorities may deploy additional security personnel to assist in enforcing the measures.

Background and Analysis
The relaxation of some measures will likely accelerate in the coming weeks; however, restrictions may be reimposed or extended further should the number of COVID-19 cases increase. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers. Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.


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