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Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly

Kansas governor orders schools to stay closed until after Labor Day

July 16, 2020
A surge in coronavirus cases persuades Laura Kelly to keep classrooms empty.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly says she will order schools in the state to stay closed until after Labor Day, a decision driven by increasing coronavirus case numbers.

The Kansas City Star reports that the state board of education must approve Kelly's action.

The delay will push the start of the school year past Sept. 7, a significant change in a state where most districts begin classes in August.

Kelly also plans to order districts to adopt many of the safety recommendations — such as masks, social distancing and temperature checks — outlined in reopening guidance from the Kansas State Department of Education.

“I cannot in good conscience open schools when Kansas has numerous hot spots and cases are at an all-time high and continuing to rapidly rise,” Kelly says. “Putting nearly half a million kids in daily large gatherings is the exact opposite of what health experts have urged us to do.”

The recommendations from the state education department center on social distancing, regular hand-washing, and disinfecting surfaces.

"Masks, social distancing, proper hygiene and daily temperature checks will enforced, regardless of what county the schools are in,” Kelly says..

Kansas was one of the first states to cancel in-person classes for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year when Kelly ordered schools to remain closed because of the pandemic.

[FROM MARCH: Kansas governor orders schools closed for the rest of the academic year]

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