Kansas – Coronavirus State Actions

Governors are working closely with federal and local officials as well as private sector partners to address the threat of the novel coronavirus. This page lists select actions through 31 July 2020. It is not intended to be exhaustive but is meant to highlight key actions and resources that may inform other states and territories as they prepare for and respond to the novel coronavirus. All state actions can be viewed here, or visit Coronavirus: What You Need To Know for additional information and resources.


  • March 17, 2020 – The Governor ordered, effective Monday, March 23, that state employees state home for two weeks on administrative leave to minimize additional risk of exposure to the virus.
  • March 17, 2020 – The Governor ordered the closure of all K-12 schools in the state until the end of the school year.
  • March 17, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order limiting public gathering to no more than 50 people and asked the Kansas Corporation Commission (KCC) to suspend utility disconnects until April 15. This directive covers all electrical, natural gas, water and telecommunications utilities under the KCC’s jurisdiction.
  • March 18, 2020 – The Governor announced Executive Order #20-06 to temporarily prohibit evictions and foreclosures across the state.
  • March 19, 2020 – The Governor signed three bills:
    • Senate Bill 27 extends unemployment eligibility for workers who filed after January 1, 2020.
    • Senate Bill 142 expands education waiver authorities during disaster emergencies.
    • Senate Bill 102 expands authorities of the judicial branch during disasters.
  • March 20, 2020- The Department of Commerce, identified $6.3 million in Community Development Block Grant funds that currently reside with 36 Kansas communities and who use them for revolving loan programs for small businesses.  The Department is providing environmental certifications within 24 hours and the public notice period has also been shortened to 24 hours so that communities can issue working capital loans for small businesses in as little as two days.
  • March 20, 2020 – The Governor announced that under the state’s disaster declaration Kansas has applied for, and expects to receive, disaster assistance loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to supplement small businesses.
  • March 20, 2020 – The Governor announced the allocation of 5 million of state funds to establish the Hospitality Industry Relief Emergency (HIRE) Fund to provide short-term, zero-interest loans for Kansas’ hospitality sector
  • March 22, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order temporarily expanding telemedicine and addressing certain licensing requirements.
  • March 22, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order for conditional and temporary relief from certain motor carrier rules and regulations.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order limiting mass gathering to 10 people.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order preventing all Kansas waste removal providers, trash and recycling, from cancelling or suspending commercial or residential waste or recycling removal services for Kansas residences and businesses as a result of nonpayment due to significant loss of income or increase in expenses resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • March 23, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order extending tax filing deadlines to July 15, 2020, and waiving any interest and penalties for returns and payments made on or before July 15, 2020.
  • March 25, 2020 – The Governor signed the state budget which also approves $65 million for Kansas coronavirus response.
  • March 25, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order establishing the Kansas Essential Function Framework for the COVID-19 response. 
  • March 25, 2020- The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) approved Kansas’ request for a Section 1135 Medicaid waiver. The approved waiver enables Kansas to provide flexibilities in Medicaid provider screening and enrollment, forgo certain pre-admission screening and annual resident review assessments, lift prior authorization requirements, and extend fair hearing and appeals timelines.
  • March 28, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order instituting a temporary, statewide stay-home order until Sunday, April 19.
  • March 31, 2020 – The Governor signed a new executive order making the following changes to the state’s employment security law:
    • The waiting week requirement for unemployment benefits will be temporarily waived for all claimants;
    • The requirement that Kansans receiving unemployment benefits actively seek work each week will be temporarily waived for all claimants to allow Kansans to continue the necessary social distancing practices;
    • All Kansas employers, as required by the federal Department of Labor, will be required to notify separated employees if they qualify for unemployment insurance.
  • April 7, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order which primarily brings religious institutions and religious and non-religious funerals in line with the a previous order that limited public gatherings to 10 or fewer people.
  • April 8, 2020 – The Governor announced legal action against members of the Legislative Coordinating Council (LCC) over its revocation of an executive order she issued that limited mass gatherings to 10 or fewer people.
    • April 9, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order extending professional and occupational licensing.
    • April 9,  2020 – The Governor signed an executive order temporary allowing notaries and witnesses to act via audio-video technology.
  • April 11, 2020 – The Kansas Supreme Court upheld the Governor’s executive order limiting the size of mass gathering to 10 people, including that of church services and funerals.
  • April 13, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order extending the temporary relief for motor carriers from certain rules and regulations.
  • April 15, 2020 – The Governor has extended the stay-at-home order until May 1st.
  • April 15, 2020 – The Governor has signed an executive order that brings adult care homes in line with other occupational licensing exemptions. All state agencies working or collaborating with the Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services shall extend renewal deadlines for any occupational or professional license, certificate or registration as needed.
  • April 16, 2020 – The Governor has signed an executive order extending the stay-at-home order to May 3.
  • April 16, 2020 – The Governor stated that her state and other rural states have struggled to get medical supplies which her public health teams identifies as a prerequisite to easing social distancing requirements.
  • April 20, 2020 – The Governor announced Kansas received additional supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) from federal partners to expand COVID-19 testing in Finney, Ford, Lyon and Seward counties.
  • April 22, 2020 – The Governor announced that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) has released new guidelines on COVID-19 testing. People exhibiting two symptoms will now be able to get tested.
  • April 22, 2020 – The Governor announced that her administration has been in communication with the state’s impacted meat processing facilities’ representatives, their employees and local health officials and those facilities have taken several steps to modify their production and shipping systems.
  • April 21, 2020 – The state has coordinated with local agencies to secure temporary emergency housing for some people who have been isolated for observation or quarantined for two weeks in four counties with large meatpacking plants affected by the virus.
  • April 22, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order temporarily waiving physician supervision or collaboration requirements for certain medical licensees, including advanced practice registered nurses, physician assistants and licensed practical nurses. The order also allows out-of-state health care providers to practice in Kansas.
  • April 22, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order allowing for the sale of alcoholic beverages for carryout consumption and permits the sale of liquor in a container that is not the original container for any establishment holding a class A club license, class B club license or drinking establishment license.
  • April 28, 2020 – The Governor announced the launch of a new and comprehensive  website for resources regarding COVID-19.
  • April 30, 2020 – The Governor presented her detailed framework for gradually, safely re-opening the economy and getting Kansas back to work. Phase One will take effect on Monday, May 4, 2020, via Executive Order 20-29, when the statewide stay-home order outlined in Executive Order 20-16 officially lifts.
  • May 7, 2020 – The Governor announced the appointment of two individuals who will head the team charged with leading Kansas forward in recovery from the far-reaching effects of COVID-19. The Governor selected Cheryl Harrison-Lee as the Recovery Office’s executive director and Lyle Butler as the chair.
  • May 14, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 20-31, which establishes a new phase to the “Ad Astra: Plan to Reopen Kansas.” The new “1.5” Phase, effective May 18, 2020, continues reopening efforts while preserving some data-driven restrictions necessary to prevent community transmission of COVID-19.
  • May 15, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order that provides temporary relief from certain restrictions concerning shared work programs. The order waives a provision in the law that prohibited a contributing negative account employer to participate in a shared work plan.
  • May 15, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order to extend temporary relief for motor carriers from certain rules and regulations until rescinded, on June 15, 2020, or until the statewide State of Disaster Emergency expires, whichever is earlier. It is an extension of measures put in place by Executive Order #20-22.
  • May 17, 2020 – The Governor will meet with President Trump at the White House on Wednesday to discuss how to protect the U.S. food supply and agricultural sector amid COVID-19.
  • May 19, 2020 – The Governor announced the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Taskforce to lead the state’s economic recovery. The Recovery Office team will be responsible for the statewide distribution of significant CARES Act funding. A five-member executive committee will oversee the process, and the office will have a steering committee with an additional 15 members who will form three subcommittees. The three subcommittees will focus on communication and engagement, finance and policy development and implementation and accountability. 
  • May 19, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order 20-34, which moves Kansas into Phase 2 of Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas.
  • May 26, 2020 – The Governor announced a series of actions her administration took to respond to the emergency situation COVID-19 they include:
    • Vetoing House Bill 2054
    • Signed a new state disaster declaration
    • Called for a special session starting June 3 and deliver an emergency management bill
  • June 1, 2020 – The Governor announced that the team she appointed to help her plan for the state’s economic recovery from the coronavirus pandemic will begin discussing this week how to spend $1.25 billion in federal relief funds.
  • June 2, 2020 – The Governor’s Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Taskforce Executive Committee reviewed and approved a proposal to distribute $400 million to local governments to help address the health and economic challenges inflicted by COVID-19.
  • June 2, 2020 – The Governor announced an award of nearly $9 million in Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Response Supplement (CDBG-CV) funds to 66 Kansas communities.
  • June 8, 2020 – The Governor announced that her administration, as well as officials with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, recommend that most local communities consider moving into Phase 3 of “Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas.”
  • June 16, 2020 – The State Finance Council approved the distribution of $400 million in funding from the Coronavirus Relief Fund to local Kansas governments to help combat the health and economic challenges COVID-19 has brought on their communities, and to help prepare for possible future outbreaks of the disease. 
  • June 17, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order to help make renewing driver’s licenses easier for people across the state. Executive Order #20-46 offers temporary relief from age restrictions that prohibit applicants 50 years of age or older from applying to renew their driver’s license online. Under the new order, all drivers under the age of 65 are permitted to use the online renewal system.
  • June 22, 2020 – The Governor announced her recommendation  that communities do not move into Phase Out of “Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas,” which was originally planned to begin June 22, and instead stay in Phase 3 for at least two more weeks.
  • June 24, 2020 – The Governor announced a new customer service hotline and email for Kansans who have been affected by the recent duplicate payments.
    • June 24, 2020 – The Governor directed the Kansas Department of Revenue to begin phasing in the availability of drive tests.
    • June 29, 2020 – The Governor announced that she will sign an Executive Order requiring that most Kansans in a public space must wear a mask, beginning 12:01 a.m. Friday, July 3.
  • June 30, 2020 – The Governor signed multiple executive orders which provide temporary relief from various requirements. They include:
    • Drivers’ license and vehicle registration and regulation during state of disaster emergency;
    • Allowing certain deferred tax deadlines and payments during state of disaster emergency;
    • Extending professional and occupational licenses during state of disaster emergency;
    • Temporarily allowing notaries and witnesses to act via audio-video communication technology during state of disaster emergency;
    • Licensure, Certification, and Registration for persons and Licensure of “Adult Care Homes” during state of disaster emergency;
    • Temporarily suspending certain rules relating to the sale of alcoholic beverages during state of disaster emergency; and
    • Temporary relief from certain restrictions concerning shared work programs during state of disaster emergency.
  • June 30, 2020 – The Governor signed an executive order requiring that masks be worn statewide.
  • July 6, 2020 – The Governor announced that her administration, and officials with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, recommend that most local communities again do not move into Phase Out of “Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen Kansas” at this time, and instead stay in Phase 3.
  • July 8, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Orders #20-55 and #20-56:  
    • E.O. #20-55 provides for the extension of drivers’ licenses that would expire before September 15, 2020, and also sets a staggered deadline for vehicle registrations depending on when a vehicle was purchased. 
    • E.O. #20-56 amends regulations on licensure, certification, and registration for persons and Licensure of adult care homes in Kansas put in place by earlier executive orders. The new order narrows the relaxation of regulatory provisions put in place previously, and limits those provisions more specifically to adult care homes that have been granted provisional licenses for the purpose of cohorting or isolating residents in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
  • July 14, 2020 – The Governor announced $6,202,603 in grant awards to state and local jurisdictions in preventing, preparing for, and responding to the coronavirus, as well as funds to support families impacted by domestic violence.
  • July 15, 2020 – The Governor announced that she will sign an executive order to delay opening schools until after the Labor Day holiday.
  • July 17, 2020 – The Governor announced the Office of Recovery’s disbursement of CARES Act funds to Kansas counties.
  • July 20, 2020 – The Governor signed Executive Order #20-59 and shared the details for Executive Order #20-58. Executive Order #20-58 can only be signed if the Kansas Board of Education votes to approve her order. Executive Order #20-58 delays schools from beginning any student instruction from August through September 8. Executive Order #20-59 outlines mitigation procedures schools must take to ensure the safety and wellbeing of Kansas students and teachers.
  • July 23, 2020 – The Governor announced a second round of Community Development Block Grant Coronavirus Response Supplement (CDBG-CV) funds to 56 Kansas communities. A total of more than $7.2 million is being disbursed to assist communities affected by the pandemic and its economic effects.
  • July 27, 2020 – The Governor announced Secretary Julie Lorenz of the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) will serve as Executive Director of the Recovery Office, in addition to serving as Secretary for KDOT. The Recovery Office, alongside the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Taskforce, is charged with the statewide distribution of over a billion dollars in federal funds Kansas received under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
  • July 29, 2020 – The Governor announced she signed an Executive Order that will extend Executive Order #20-46, which helps make renewing driver’s licenses easier for people across the state. Executive Order #20-60 offers temporary relief from age restrictions that prohibit applicants 50 years of age or older from applying to renew their driver’s license online. Under the new order, all drivers under the age of 65 are permitted to use the online renewal system.