Kansas governor, GOP scrap again over COVID-19 budget plan

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly answers questions from reporters following a meeting with legislative leaders about budget issues, Friday, June 26, 2020, at the Statehouse in Topeka, Kan. The Democratic governor is locked in a partisan dispute with the Republican-controlled Legislature over her plan to close a projected shortfall tied to the coronavirus pandemic.

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly says she will issue an executive order mandating the use of masks in public starting Friday to stop the spread of COVID-19.

"The evidence could not be clearer — wearing a mask is not only safe, but it is necessary to avoid another shutdown," the Democratic governor told reporters Monday.

Kelly's executive order would require every Kansan to wear a mask if they are around other people. She said her administration will issue specific guidance later this week and will work with the attorney general's office to implement the policy.

Local officials would enforce the policy.

“”This is all we have to fight this virus and it is up to each of us to do our part," Kelly said.

Kansas health officials reported on Monday at least 14,443 confirmed coronavirus cases, an increase of 905 since Friday. The state also had six more deaths from COVID-19, bring the total number of deaths in the state to 270. Kansas reported that 1,152 people had been hospitalized.

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