The framework is structured to return more flexibility to local community response efforts, while still operating under a statewide, regulatory baseline. It allows local governments to impose additional restrictions beyond those outlined at the state level, if they deem it necessary to local COVID-19 response efforts. Local governments that choose not to impose additional restrictions are required to operate within the regulatory baseline established by the state. This approach will increase flexibility for local communities while also ensuring a gradual, safe transition statewide.
The Governor will evaluate the state’s disease spread, testing rates, death rates, hospitalizations, ability of state and local public health authorities to contain outbreaks and conduct contact tracing, and personal protective equipment availability when determining if the state should move to the next “Phase.” Regardless of phase, the State Health Officer retains the authority to impose additional public health interventions in any area that contains an emergent and significant public health risk.
Throughout all these phases, Kansans should continue to adhere to hygiene and social distancing protocols, including:
- Washing hands frequently, while avoiding contact with one’s face;
- Remaining home when sick or running a fever;
- Following isolation and quarantine orders issued by state or local health officers;
- Wearing a cloth face mask when in public;
- Working remotely, if possible.
These are basic public health guidelines that will slow the spread of this disease, regardless of which phase is in effect, and are essential to minimizing community transmission of COVID-19 in the absence of a vaccine.