(TOPEKA, Ks.) Governor Laura Kelly announced Wednesday that she will be delaying the start of the fall semester for public schools across the state of Kansas.
The governor's order will have the 2020 school year begin after labor day.
"Because the Board of Education's health guidelines are not enforced, I will also issue an executive order to make those common sense mitigation strategies that are in the board plan mandatory because we have already seen what happens when guidelines are voluntary,” Kelly said. “That means masks, social distancing, proper hygiene and daily temperature checks will be enforced regardless of the county schools."
Governor Kelly added that the extra three weeks will provide schools time to work with their counties to get the necessary mitigation supplies such as masks, thermometers and hand sanitizer. It will also allow each superintendent to thoroughly review the plan from the Kansas Board of Education to figure out what strategy is best for their district.
"The extra three weeks will also allow us to monitor the infection rate and, with everyone's help, get our numbers trending downward again," Kelly said. "I cannot in good conscience open schools when Kansas has numerous hot spots where cases are at an all time high and continuing to rapidly rise."
As of Wednesday, July 15, Kansas has reported 20,933 cases and 299 deaths statewide.