TOPEKA — Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly tested negative for the coronavirus on Friday after being in a public meeting last month with a legislative leader who’d been infected and hospitalized, a spokesman said.
Spokesman Sam Coleman said the governor was tested Friday morning and received her results quickly. She decided to get tested after Kansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman Jr. disclosed in an email to fellow GOP House members Thursday that he’d tested positive for the coronavirus on July 13.
The Kansas House speaker, a Republican, is the highest-ranking official in Kansas known to have been infected as the number of reported cases in the state approaches 30,000. GOP Gov. Kevin Stitt of Oklahoma tested positive last month.
Ryckman attended a July 29 meeting at the Statehouse of the State Finance Council with Kelly and other top lawmakers. The Democratic governor and eight leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature make up the council, and state law requires it to review Kelly’s orders on the coronavirus pandemic.
Ryckman said he was hospitalized for about a week starting July 16 and was cleared by a doctor to stop isolating, allowing him to go to the meeting. Kelly called his decision "reckless and dangerous."