On Thursday, Gov. Laura Kelly issued an emergency declaration for Kansas because of the spread of coronavirus into the state and President Donald Trump declared a national emergency Friday afternoon.
“The action I am taking will open up access to up to $50 billion, a very important and a large amount of money for states, territories or localities in our shared fight against this disease,” Trump said. “I am urging every state to set up emergency operation centers, effective immediately.”
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment also announced late Thursday that a Kansas City-area nursing home resident has become the state’s first COVID-19-related death, according to the Associated Press. A man in his 70s who was brought to the hospital and died shortly after, and was tested post-mortem.
The KDHE announced Friday a sixth case of the coronavirus had been identified in the state. The COVID-19 case is associated with a Butler County man in his 70s who reported traveling outside of the U.S. The man is in isolation, and no other details about the patient were released.
Along with the suspensions of many major league sports seasons in response to growing coronavirus fears, local events including nonprofit organization Mosaic’s annual “Partners in Progress” fundraiser, a presentation at Pittsburg State University by a former video game addict, Pittsburg High School’s planned job shadow day and the final presentation in the Miners Hall Museum ‘Music of The Little Balkans’ series have been postponed or cancelled.
Growing concerns about the coronavirus have also prompted area schools to make contingency plans and take precautions.
School districts are actively monitoring the disease, they said. Pittsburg USD 250 said during an emergency school board meeting Thursday that they are working closely with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and local health departments regarding school closure.
Other Crawford County school districts including Southeast, Northeast, Frontenac and Girard, have also shared on their social media and websites that they too are doing the same and each have provided information from the KDHE along with some answers to frequently asked questions.
The school districts reminded the public that the situation is “fluid” and is subject to change at any time.
“Information changes rapidly, this is a fluid situation, it’s a moving target,” USD 250 Superintendent of Schools Richard Proffitt said at the meeting.
Closing schools is decided by health departments and if the state or local health department closes a school because of the coronavirus there are three options, Proffitt said Thursday. One option is to make up the missed time prior to June 30, another is that districts can submit a proposal to Kansas State Department of Education for online learning that can be counted as time in school, and lastly the district can waive the legally required number of days and hours that school must be in session by submitting the proposal to KSDE Commissioner Randy Watson and the State Board.
People can visit each district’s websites to receive updated information and decisions made for each district.