New Coronavirus cases were announced this morning, KState, KU and MU Announce changes and KCMO Declares State of Emergency.
We will continue to post updates to this story, as they become available. last update 3/17/20 5 p.m.
KANSAS SCHOOLS CLOSED
Governor Laura Kelly announced that all K-12 schools will be closed for the remainder of the 2019-2020 school year due to the coronavirus.
Governor Kelly and Dr. Randy Watson, who is the Commissioner for the Kansas State Department of Education, said this affect the almost half-a-million students who are in state-accredited schools. That includes parochial and private schools.
A continuous learning task force will announce Wednesday afternoon what the plans are for continuing education for students. Watson says the task force members are aware that a lot of students do not have access to computers or the internet.
“Every family will have to make some determination of how learning should go forward,” he said.
Districts are being asked to provide food options. USD 259 will start lunches next Wednesday. More information from the Wichita district will be provided in emails.
The teachers' union KNEA says it supports the decision to close the schools.
Kansas is now reporting 16 confirmed cases of the coronavirus. The latest comes from Douglas County. Ford County in western Kansas announced its first case Tuesday, and Johnson County added two more cases, bringing its total to 10.
Also Tuesday, the Kansas Lottery Commission announced it will close the four state-owned casinos until at least March 30. Kansas State and Wichita State on Monday announced all their classes will move online for the rest of the semester.
Kansas State said it is canceling spring graduations and Wichita State said graduations are postponed.
The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office has suspended all onsite family video visitation. The suspension was initiated on March 17, 2020, at 12 p.m. This suspension will be in effect until March 31, 2020, in response to growing public health concerns.
Inmates still have access to remote visitation. Remote visitation hours are 9 a.m. until 10 p.m., seven days a week.
Visitation Cancelled at all KDOC facilities
The Kansas Secretary of Corrections has suspended visitation at all Kansas Department of Corrections (KDOC) facilities, effective immediately, as a measure of precaution to reduce exposure of COVID-19 to our residents and staff.
No end time was set for this policy. The announcement said they will "reevaluate on an on-going basis and will communicate any changes as soon as possible."
Families are encouraged to utilize e-mail, phone and video visits to stay in touch with their loved ones.
Kansas is doing great in comparison to some states. We're now up to 8 cases and 136 tests reported, but other labs our beginning to test, so that may not be a complete number of tests.
A coronavirus death has been reported in Kansas. A man in his 70s was brought to the hospital and died shortly after arrival. Testing done post-mortem came back positive for COVID-19. He was living in a long-term care facility in Wyandotte County.
Of thoses case 5 are in Johnson County, 1 is in Wyandotte Cunty, 1 is in Butler County and 1 in Franklin County
ICYMI, yesterday Sedgwick County announced a policy that limits gatherings in the state to 250 and less. So, if you go to a large church you might want to check to see how they're handling services tommorrow.
The Kansas State High School Activities Association has cancelled all basketball games and will not proceed with regional and state tournaments.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association canceled the US national men's basketball tournament, shutting down "March Madness" for devoted basketball fans across the United States.
For answers to your coronavirus questions, the state of Kansas has established a call line. You may call the KDHE phone bank at 1-866-534-3463 (1-866-KDHEINF) today Monday – Friday, 8 a.m.–5 p.m. For more information about COVID-19, visit KDHE’s website and Frequently Asked Questions at www.kdheks.gov/coronavirus/ and www.cdc.gov/coronavirus.
This morning in Topeka, officials from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, and Johnson County Department of Health and Environment announced two new cases of coronavirus in Johnson County. It is believed the men, between ages 35 and 65, contracted the virus at a conference they attended in Florida. It appears there may be three men who have contracted the disease, but we’re still trying to confirm the exact number.
The conference they attended has been tied to other incidences of coronavirus.
The first case of coronavirus in Kansas was also in Johnson County. The case, announced on Sat., March 7, involved a female under the age of 50 years old.
This afternoon Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced a second "presumptive positive" COVID-19 case in Greene County, which incudes Springfield. Missouri also announced its first coronavirus case that Saturday. That case involved a female in her twenties from St. Louis County, who had recently traveled to Italy.
This morning In Kansas City, Mayor Quinton Lucas proclaimed a State of Emergency. This State of Emergency, issued in consultation with the KCMO Health Department, is for an initial period of 21 days. Under the order, all events with more than 1,000 attendees within the city are cancelled or delayed until the emergency has been lifted. Mayor Lucas also placed a moratorium on all non-essential travel for City employees until the emergency has been lifted.
Kansas Citians interested in signing up for text updates from the City of Kansas City regarding COVID-19 should text COVIDKC to 888-777.
Also today, Kansas State University announced it will begin offering classes remotely beginning March 23. While this change impacts all K-State campuses, all of the campuses will remain open to continue to serve the essential needs of students and faculty.
The University of Kansas, currently on spring break, has announced it will delay resumptin of in-person classes until March 23. During the week of Faculty will spend the time between March16-22 preparing to transition their course content, including lectures, to online instructional platforms. Beginning the week of March 23, courses will be taught remotely using online tools.
Their team will reassess the need to continue remote-only instruction each week, starting March 28. All KU Student Housing buildings (and KU Dining venues will be open, however the university is encouraging students to stay home as they work on their courses.
For the week of March 16-20, Wichita State University will only hold online classes. During that week, faculty, staff and students are to use that week to prepare for online instruction which will begin after spring break, which is scheduled for March 23 – 27.
WSU residential halls will remain open and continue normal operations including food service. However students who are able to move to another location are encouraged to do so during this time. Each week, beginning March 30, WSU leadership will reassess the need to continue online and/or remote-only instruction.
The University of Missouri suspended classes through the end of the week and all courses will be remove from March 16-21. A decision on practices beyond that date will be made and announced later.
That means that students are encouraged not to return to campus and that all in-person classes are cancelled through March 20 at the university campus. A decision is forthcoming for the Washburn Tech campus and is expected no later than tomorrow. The university emphasized that this response is being made out of an abundance of caution.
After March 20, most classes will be conducted via the university’s distance learning systems. The pause in face-to-face classes next week will allow faculty the time needed to adjust to a remote delivery system for their courses.
At Washburn University announced a pause in classes through March 20 with all students not encouraged to return to campus. After March 20, most classes will be conducted via the university’s distance learning systems. The pause in face-to-face classes next week will allow faculty the time needed to adjust to a remote delivery system for their courses.
A decision is forthcoming for the Washburn Tech campus and is expected no later than tomorrow.