Wyandotte County to adopt state guidelines for reopening

Posted at 2:25 PM, May 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-20 15:25:19-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Wyandotte County will suspend its own reopening plan and instead adopt new guidelines announced by Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly earlier this week, allowing many businesses to resume operations as early as Friday.

The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas, announced Wednesday that certain restrictions will be relaxed when the county moves to the state's Phase 2 plan, which takes effect at midnight on Friday.

Kelly said Tuesday that because of increased testing and declining rates in hospitalization and deaths related to the coronavirus, the state would transition Friday into a modified Phase 2 of the reopening plan.

Although counties have the option to set their own reopening guidelines, Wyandotte County officials said Wednesday that they have received feedback regarding “a confusing mix of state and local guidance” in reopening businesses and other venues.

“Our public health officials have consistently promoted the safety and health of our community since the outbreak of COVID-19," Unified Government Mayor/CEO David Alvey said in a news release. "Their decision to suspend the ReStart WYCO Plan and align with the State of Kansas’ 2 Plan released yesterday was based on data showing that Wyandotte County continues to slow the spread, an effort to provide consistency and uniformity to residents and businesses confused by the current mix of state and local guidelines, and the fact that State prescribed guidelines supersede local authority.”

Wyandotte County had previously said that its next stage of reopening, known as the “yellow zone,” would not occur until at least May 25. That plan has now been suspended in favor of following state guidance.

Under the statewide Phase 2 reopening plan, gatherings of up to 15 people will be allowed, an increase from 10 people in Phase 1. Entertainment-based businesses, including movie theaters, and state casinos can reopen if they follow social distancing guidelines.

Exceptions to the reopening guidelines under Phase 2 include entertainment venues with a capacity of 2,000 or more people, fairs, festivals, summer camps, pools, and bars and nightclubs, except those operating curbside or carryout services.

Wyandotte County also announced that public buildings will reopen next Tuesday, May 26, by appointment only. Restrictions, including masks and mandatory temperature checks, will be enforced.