Live blog: KCPS proposes delaying start of school until Sept. 8

Posted at 5:37 AM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-22 20:46:48-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to spread across the world, and in Missouri and Kansas.

41 Action News is keeping track of all closings and cancellations, as well as tracking where positive coronavirus cases are located.

If you are a business finding unique ways to serve our community, check our KC Open for Business Facebook group to share your ideas.

Updates on the spread of the virus and how it is affecting the metro can be found below for July 22.

7:41 p.m. | Kansas City, Missouri, Public Schools proposed on Wednesday that classes for the upcoming school year not begin until Sept. 8 and that they be all virtual.

The plan is to watch case counts for the first two weeks of the school year. If cases decline, the district will move into Phase 2, which will be Pre-Kindergarten through third grade in-person with the rest of the grades doing a hybrid learning. There are five phases altogether.

7:26 p.m. | The Shawnee Mission School District Board of Education voted Wednesday night to delay the start of the 2020-21 school year until after Labor Day.

The official start date still is being discussed.

6:47 p.m. | Kansas students enrolled in at least five classes for the 2020-21 academic year will be eligible for high school activities even if they choose the virtual learning option.

The Kansas State High School Activities Association announced the decision Wednesday, noting that all other eligibility requirements also must be satisfied for participation.

6:12 p.m. | Despite the Kansas State Board of Education’s decision not to adopt Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order to delay the start of the 2020-21 school year, the Blue Valley School District announced Wednesday that it will delay the start of classes until Sept. 9.

Spring Break has been shortened to two days, March 18-19, with a professional day on Monday, March 22, making for a five-day weekend instead of a full week off.

Class for kindergarten through 11th grade will now end June 3.

The district plans to offer in-person and virtual classes.

5:30 p.m. | Douglas County on Wednesday reported its first two deaths related to the coronavirus. The first was a man in his 70s who died earlier this month, and the second was a man in his 80s who died this week. Both patients had been hospitalized, according to Lawrence-Douglas County Public Health.

4:10 p.m. | Gov. Mike Parson on Wednesday announced the Nonprofit Relief and Recovery Grant program, which could provide up to $22 million for Missouri nonprofits assisting their communities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Grant funding will be eligible for 501(c)(3) nonprofits, excluding hospitals, schools and animal charities. Grant requests will initially be limited to $250,000, and organizations must show a direct link between the pandemic and their ability to provide services or a demand for their services.

More information can be found on the state's "Show Me Strong Recovery Plan" website.

4:05 p.m. | The Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development will host a virtual job fair on Wednesday, Aug. 5. More than 200 employers have signed up to connect with job seekers.

Those interested in attending the virtual job fair can register online.

3:30 p.m. | Missouri reported 1,249 new COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, the second-most in a single day behind Tuesday (1,328). It marks the first time the state has reported more than 1,000 new cases on back-to-back days.

The seven-county Kansas City metro added 649 cases on Wednesday, the third-most in a single day.

2:30 p.m. | University of Kansas Athletic Director Jeff Long said Wednesday that four new COVID-19 cases have been reported on the football team.

Despite the positive tests, Long said the team will continue with voluntary practice activities.

1:35 p.m. | If there are NFL games this fall, and if fans are allowed to attend those games in person, face coverings will be required. Some teams and stadiums already have announced mask policies, and now the policy will be adopted league-wide, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy confirmed Wednesday.

1:15 p.m. | The number of COVID-19 cases in Kansas since the start of the pandemic has surged to 24,327 with 225 new cases added Wednesday, according to the latest report from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.

Johnson and Wyandotte counties each reported an additional death, bringing the county death tolls to 96 and 90 people, respectively.

Three more deaths have also been reported in Phillips County in north-central Kansas, where seven people have now died in the county of roughly 5,200 people.

12:55 p.m. | Dr. Lee Norman, secretary of the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, has canceled his press briefing for Wednesday afternoon. The next briefing will be held July 29 unless otherwise noted.

12:40 p.m. | Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly issued a statement after the Board of Education's decision to reject her executive order delaying the start of schools until after Labor Day:

The cases of COVID-19 in Kansas are at an all-time high and continue to rise. Our decisions must be informed by public health experts not politics. This vote puts our students, faculty, their families and our economy at risk.

I will continue to work with our school districts to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our children and ask every school district to delay the start of school.

12:20 p.m. | The Kansas City Royals announced Wednesday that Greater Kansas City Day presented by Price Chopper, which had to be postponed in April, now will take place on Friday, July 24. Beginning Wednesday, flags benefiting Royals Charities and the Rotary Youth Camp can be purchased at area Price Chopper stores for $10 or online.

Noon | The Kansas State Board of Education deadlocked on a vote to adopt Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order to delay schools until after Labor Day, meaning the order was not affirmed and will not take effect.

In a special meeting held via Zoom, the board voted 5-5 on the measure, which needed six votes to pass.

The vote means that individual schools districts in the state now will be in charge of determining when to bring students back to school.

11:50 a.m. | As coronavirus cases surge in Kansas and Missouri, an increase in testing demand is causing slowdowns at commercial labs.

In Kansas City, health department officials said the average turnaround time to receive COVID-19 test results has increased from three to five days to five to nine days.

11:35 a.m. | The Kansas City Streetcar says ridership has slowly increased since reopening after stay-at-home orders lifted. Recently, the streetcar has averaged 1,574 trips daily.

10:25 a.m. | The Kansas State Board of Education is holding a special meeting to discuss Gov. Laura Kelly's executive order to delay the start of schools until after Labor Day. Watch the meeting live online.

10:20 a.m. | Kansas City Royals infielder/outfielder Hunter Dozier has become the latest player to test positive for COVID-19, the team announced Wednesday. He has been placed on the injured list.

“I’m disappointed to say the least,” Dozier said in a news release. “I have been hit with a couple of symptoms that go with the virus, so I need to follow our medical team’s direction, get well and then work on getting back on the field. It’s disheartening because I felt things were going well on the field and I have a good feeling about the ball club we have. To have to watch for whatever period of time that I’m out is going to painful.”

10:10 a.m. | A $1 million grant will be distributed to coworking and incubator facilities in Missouri to upgrade those spaces in compliance with health guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Gov. Mike Parson announced the grant, which uses CARES Act funding, on Wednesday.

“Supporting Missouri’s entrepreneurs and startup companies is key to our economy,” Parson said in a news release. “These individuals are not only developing innovative products but also businesses that will create new jobs and opportunities for the people of our state.”

Organizations that receive grant funding will be reimbursed for expenses related to updating facilities to encourage social distancing, adopting enhanced sanitation protocols or acquiring personal protective equipment to comply with health emergency guidelines.

Applications will be accepted between July 22 and Aug. 17, and awards will be announced in late September or early October.

9:45 a.m. | Kansas Department of Health and Environment Secretary Dr. Lee Norman will hold a news conference at 2 p.m. Wednesday to give an update on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic. It will be live streamed on the department's Facebook page.

9:34 a.m. | Free masks are being handed out at Woods Chapel Church in Lee's Summit from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Cars will receive packs of 10 masks while supplies last.

8:53 a.m. | University of Kansas Health System officials gave their daily COVID-19 update.

7:20 a.m. | Just starting your day? We’ve got you covered with a quick look at what you need to know.

41 Action News Latest Headlines | July 22, 6am

6:40 a.m. | The Kansas City Girls Preparatory Academy will return to class on Aug. 17, but learning will be completely virtual. A return to in-person learning won't be considered until the beginning of a new quarter. The school cited Kansas City, Missouri, Health Department guidance and an increase in COVID-19 cases in children as the reason for the decision.

5:30 a.m. | New research suggests that antibodies the immune system makes to fight the new coronavirus may only last a few months in people with mild illness, but that doesn’t mean protection also is gone or that it won’t be possible to develop an effective vaccine, according to the Associated Press.

5 a.m. | The Kansas State Board of Education has called a special meeting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday to discuss Gov. Laura Kelly’s executive order to delay the start of the 2020-21 school year until after Labor Day.

The meeting, which will take place by video conference, will only address Executive Order 20-58 and public comments.

Previous coverage:
March 2020 updates
April 2020 updates
May 2020 updates
June 2020 updates
Wednesday, July 1
Thursday, July 2
Friday, July 3
Monday, July 6
Tuesday, July 7
Wednesday, July 8
Thursday, July 9
Friday, July 10
Monday, July 13
Tuesday, July 14
Wednesday, July 15
Thursday, July 16
Friday, July 17
Monday, July 20
Tuesday, July 21