Governor Laura Kelly Issues 15-Day Disaster Declaration, Two Executive Orders to Aid Kansas Hospital and Adult Care Home Capacity

~No new mandates or closures will be issued~

TOPEKA – Governor Laura Kelly today signed a State of Disaster Emergency to alleviate healthcare staffing shortages and facilities’ constraints caused by the surge in COVID-19 cases. Governor Kelly also signed executive orders 22-01 and 22-02 which temporarily suspend certain statutes and regulations for adult care homes and certain health care providers.

“Just as I did at the start of the pandemic, today I am again issuing orders to provide our hospitals and nursing homes with the necessary staffing flexibility to keep the residents, patients, and staff safe,” Governor Kelly said. “This disaster declaration provides a 15-day solution to give our front-line health care workers the support they need as they battle this COVID-19 surge. This action is temporary until the legislature returns, at which I time I will work with them to pass legislation to extend my executive orders through the month of March.”

The 15-day disaster declaration activates the state’s disaster response and recovery portions of the Kansas Response Plan. The declaration also allows for the Governor to suspend certain statutes, orders or rules and regulations that prevent, hinder, or delay in any way necessary action in coping with the disaster.

E.O. 22-01 provides temporary relief from certain restrictions and requirements governing the provision of medical services.

E.O. 22-02 relaxes or suspends licensure, certification, and registration for persons and licensure of adult care homes.

“I urge all Kansans to do their part by getting vaccinated and boosted, which will both help prevent COVID-19 transmissions and more severe cases that require hospitalization, and also help in maintaining our critical infrastructure and economy intact” Governor Kelly said.

Kansas is currently experiencing significant increases in COVID-19 cases following the winter holidays and from the new Omicron variant. Medical professionals anticipate that the numbers will worsen throughout the month of January and into early February.  Early data indicates that while the Omicron variant causes milder symptoms, it is more transmissible, even amongst vaccinated individuals.

Please find the state disaster declaration here.