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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Kansas Governor Says Masks Are Non-Negotiable In Schools And Pleads For Delaying Classes

By Brian Grimmett – Kansas News Service

WICHITA, Kansas — Students, teachers and staff members at K-12 schools in Kansas will wear masks, use hand sanitizer once an hour, socially distance and have their temperatures taken daily. That’s according to a new statewide mandate from Gov. Laura Kelly, who says she does not need approval to institute the COVID-19 safety regulations.

She also plans to delay all instruction and extracurricular activities — including sports — until Sept. 8, after Labor Day. This second executive order must be voted on by the state Board of Education, which will meet at 10 a.m. Wednesday.

Kelly said she is committed to protecting Kansans “regardless of the political pushback” that already has happened in some communities regarding delaying the 2020-21 school year.

“I’m asking each state Board of Education member to put politics aside and think about our children, their parents, their teachers and the survival of our Main Street businesses,” she said in a news conference Monday.

More than 300 Kansans have died from COVID-19, and the number of cases has spiked in the last month to almost 24,000 — with more than 2,600 since July 13 alone.

Last week, the Board of Education issued a hefty document full of recommendations on reopening schools safely, prioritizing in-person elementary-school education and noting that it’s likely teachers, staff, students and family may need to quarantine for 14 days when a school has a positive coronavirus case.

There are exceptions in Kelly’s order regarding safety protocols. Masks won’t be required during eating, “activities that cannot be safely conducted with a mask or other facial covering,” people with medical conditions and other reasons. Also, the order says that the six-foot social distancing guideline doesn’t apply during in-person instruction in classrooms when masks or other face coverings are being worn.

Derek Nesterhttps://sunflowerstateradio.com
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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