Last Updated on November 20, 2020
In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, AARP Kansas is providing information and resources to help older Kansans and those caring for them protect themselves from the virus and help prevent it from spreading to others.
On Wednesday, November 18, 2020, Governor Laura Kelly issued issued the following press release:
Governor Laura Kelly today announced several new steps her administration is taking to combat the spike in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths. The new plan includes a public health campaign, community engagement conversations and an executive order establishing a statewide face-covering protocol as part of her administration’s all-of-the-above strategy to keep Kansans healthy, keep schools and businesses open, and protect Kansas’ economy.
“As COVID-19 continues to spread through Kansas communities and hospitalizations increase at concerning rates, it is clear we must take action to protect our communities and our economy,” Governor Laura Kelly said. “Today’s actions are a bipartisan package of recommendations from legislators, health professionals, and business leaders to increase participation in commonsense COVID-19 prevention practices.”
E.O. #20-68 takes effect beginning 12:01 a.m. Wednesday, November 25, and will remain in place until rescinded or until the current statewide State of Disaster Emergency expires – whichever is earlier.
“My administration recognizes that each Kansas county is faced with unique challenges – and a one-size-fits-all approach can be difficult for some communities to navigate,” Governor Kelly said. “The order allows local officials one week to craft and implement their own version of a face covering ordinance that works for them and their communities.”
Under the order, Kansans shall wear face coverings when inside public spaces, or in situations where physical distancing of 6 feet cannot be maintained. Guidance regarding specific locations or situations in which face coverings should be worn is outlined within the order.
Kansans under five years of age, those with medical conditions, and others outlined in the order are exempt from face covering protocol.
View E.O. #20-68 here.
In addition to the face-covering protocol, the Kelly administration is partnering with the Kansas Leadership Center to mobilize its alumni base, which is nearly 12,000 strong, to mobilize and lead virtual non-partisan convenings across Kansas beginning the week of November 17 and concluding by late December. The project will dramatically increase the number of local leaders – pastors, coaches, neighborhood leaders, business owners, community officials, and others to use their influence to combat the virus.
This week, Governor Kelly also approved CARES Act funding to assist a coalition of stakeholders including the Kansas Hospital Association, Kansas Chamber of Commerce, Kansas Farm Bureau, and others, to create a statewide public health campaign to begin next week. The campaign will encourage Kansans to follow the best practices, encourage voluntary testing, avoid mass gatherings, and use face-coverings.
Guidance for Celebrating the Holidays
From the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) - The safest way to celebrate the holidays this year is with the people in your household. If you choose to gather with people outside of your household, plan ahead to create safer alternatives. Take a look at our guidance, and refer to your local city or county guidance as well, which may be more restrictive.
As always, Kansans should continue to adhere to hygiene and social distancing protocols, including:
- Washing hands frequently, while avoiding contact with one’s face;
- Remaining home when sick or running a fever;
- Following isolation and quarantine orders issued by state or local health officers;
- Wearing a cloth face mask when in public;
Do you have symptoms?
If you have coronavirus symptoms, call your health care provider or local public health department to figure out if you could — and should — get tested. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) people with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
This list does not include all possible symptoms.
Kansas Covid-19 County Response Policies
Up-to-date state health information:
- The Kansas Department of Health and Environment offers updates on those infected, plus tips for prevention, public resources and contact information. Call toll-free 866-534-3463 (866-KDHEINF).
- KDHE Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's).
- Facebook accounts for Governor Kelly and KDHE provide ongoing up-to-date information.
Food assistance resources:
- If financial difficulty is a barrier to food, find your closest food bank and other food assistance programs in your area.
- Kansas WIC program physical requirement waived.
- Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)– provides monthly nutritional food assistance for people with low incomes and limited assets. Call toll-free 1-888-369-4777.
- To apply for unemployment insurance in Kansas, visit the Kansas Department of Labor's website or visit the Kansas Department of Labor's Facebook page for updates.
AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program in Kansas:
- Kansas Tax-Aide sites are closed. For information about tax filing deadline extensions and other tax filing updates, visit Kansas Tax-Aide.
General Assistance for older Kansans:
- For information relating to services for older Kansans and Kansans with disabilities, visit the Kansas Department on Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) website.
- To find your the Area Agency on Aging in your area and for additional resources for older Kansas click here.
- Kansas Advocates for Better Care advocates for quality long-term care in Kansas.
- COVID-19 Resources from the Disability Rights Center of Kansas for Kansans with Disabilities.
- Visit Eldercare Locator for additional resources in your area.
- For questions and assistance about Kansas nursing homes, contact the Long-Term Care Ombudsman's office by e-mail or by phone at 1-877-662-8362.
- AARP Friendly Voices program - receive a call from a friendly AARP volunteer. Call 1-888-281-0145 or visit them online.
Veterans Assistance :
- Kansas Commission on Veterans Affairs website or Facebook page.
- AARP Resources for Veterans, Military and Their Families.
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
- Veterans Administration message to veterans.
Driver's License and Vehicle Registration Extension Information:
- Learn more about the 60-day extension for driver's license and vehicle registrations by visiting the Kansas Department of Revenue website.
Ideas for Physical Activity at Home:
- 10 Fun Tips from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
- Turn Your Walk Into a Workout with Denise Austin.
- Exercising at Home.
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