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Gov. Kelly Says Kansas Should Drop Local Control of COVID-19 Rules


Governor Laura Kelly says Kansas should stop giving local officials the final say over the state’s response to the coronavirus pandemic because experience has shown “a patchwork approach” does not work.


Kelly said that the state is seeing the benefits of a “unified” state strategy to boost testing and an increased willingness by the state's 105 counties to require people to wear masks, which she has pushed for months.


Kelly also said she would like legislators to rewrite a law that allows people exposed to COVID-19 to avoid providing information that would allow health officials to trace their close contacts.


Kelly is likely to face strong resistance from Republicans for returning power to manage a pandemic to the governor's office, particularly the authority to close businesses or impose statewide restrictions such as mask mandates. GOP leaders have said that local officials are best positioned to decide what works.

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