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Dear Friend,

As some states are re-opening, Kansas cases continue to rise with clusters in counties with packing plants, primarily Finney and Ford, as well as significant infection at the Lansing Prison and the VA Hospital. 
  • The prison is locked down while all inmates are tested because early tests showed a 75% of confirmed cases there were asymptomatic. 
  • From last Thursday to today, we’ve had more than 1,756 new cases diagnosed, which is double the number from two weeks ago. 
When will you feel comfortable returning to Business As Usual? 
Opening Up Kansas
If you were unable to tune into Governor Laura Kelly’s address Thursday evening, here’s the full speech. In sum, the disaster declaration is extended, which helps us continue to receive federal support. A new Executive Order was issued ending the stay-at-home order at 11:59 am on Sunday, May 3, and launching a 3-phase reopening plan. Specific guidance for individuals, businesses, entertainment, venues, restrictions will be scaled back at each point, but will not all happen at the same time. These are all subject to local extension. Each phase is ~14 days unless more is needed. 
The governor mentioned the CDC recently doubled the list of symptoms of the disease, and that researchers estimate 20-50% of cases are asymptomatic. These people do not know they are carriers and proceed infecting others. 

Representative John Eplee

Kansas State Legislature
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Doniphan County
Atchison County

Contact Doc Eplee
At the Capitol:
300 SW 10th St., 512-N
Topeka, KS 66612

At home in Atchison:
163 Deer Run
Atchison, KS 66002
Ad Astra: A Plan to Reopen KANSAS
Phase 1: May 4-May 18 (at earliest). Stay at home order is lifted. Mass gatherings still limited to 10 or less, unless able to retain 6’ social distancing.
  1. Avoid any instances in which groups of more than 10 individuals are in one location and unable to maintain 6’ distance.
    1. Businesses which can keep 6’ distance between groups of customers can open. Restaurants can solve this by expanding distance between seated customers.
    2. Industry-specific guidelines are detailed in
  2. Businesses still closed:
    1. Bars and nightclubs except for carryout and curbside services
    2. Casinos
    3. Theaters, museums, other indoor entertainment (trampoline parks, arcades, etc.)
    4. Fitness centers and gyms
    5. Salons: nails, barbers, hair, tanning, tattoo, and other personal services where close contact cannot be avoided.
  3. Education Limitations:
    1. K-12 still closed
    2. Higher education closed for in-person learning/events.
    3. Childcare is still available subject to state and local rules.
    4. Activities can open if they can maintain 6’ distance between individuals.
  4. Community still closed:
    1. Community centers
    2. Entertainment venues
    3. Fairs, festivals, parades, etc. (proms, graduations)
    4. Public or private pools (not backyard, personal pools)
    5. Organized sports tournaments
    6. Summer camps
Phase 2: May 18 (at earliest)-June 1. Mass gatherings up to 30 people allowed.
  1. Fitness centers, salons can open, provided they follow industry-specific guidelines.
  2. Casinos can open if they can follow KDHE guidelines.
  3. Restaurants: Can open at 50% of total capacity, in addition to curbside and carryout.
  4. Prohibited: Large venues and events under community limitations above.
Phase 3: June 1 (at earliest) - Mass gatherings expanded to 90 individuals 
  1. All other events open if they can follow guidelines.
  2. This phase will end in an anticipated full phase-out by June 15.
  1. K-12 and college school plans in August
  2. Election plans in August and November
Not In Cement
Keep in mind this situation continues to evolve and Governor Kelly called this “a living document” which is subject to ongoing analysis. As we learn more about the disease, see more trends, and circumstances arise, the state will continue to be flexible in order to protect all Kansans, with a bias toward local control, recognizing varying needs across the state.
These changes do not mean we go back to our pre-COVID normal. Frequent handwashing, basic social distancing, wearing masks when possible, generous hand sanitizer use, and reconsideration of the basics of our physical environment will be necessary. It might be a while before you shake a new acquaintance’s hand.
Additional Services

Are you an essential worker with childcare needs?
Funds are available to both help parents, who have essential jobs, pay for their daycare as well as funds for daycare providers to help pay for sterilizing supplies. Check out the Kansas Hero Relief Program for more information:
What does this mean for elections?
Some counties are mailing every voter an application to receive a ballot by mail. In case our counties do not do that, please click here to get a form. Anyone can vote by mail, but you must request a mailed ballot for each election. Ballots will be mailed 20 days before each election: July 15 and October 14.
COVID-19 in Kansas

Every day at 2 pm, Dr. Lee Norman, the Kansas Secretary for Health & Environment provides an update on the status of the virus in Kansas. Watch the press conferences live or view previous events here

Additionally, as mentioned above, the state has consolidated its COVID information into one handy website for health, business, unemployment, and other assistance:
Stay home to stay safe and protect your loved ones, 

Representative John Eplee, MD
Kansas House District 63
Serving Atchison and Doniphan counties
Paid for by Kansans for Eplee, Patsy A. Porter, CPA, Treasurer
Copyright © 2020, All rights reserved.

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Paid for by Kansans for Eplee, Patsy Porter, Treasurer · 163 Deer Run · Atchison, Ks 66002 · USA

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