Governor Laura Kelly says that she does not plan to have the state health department use its power to manage disease outbreaks by shutting down businesses, or imposing other restrictions in local coronavirus hot spots.

The Democratic governor’s statement went further than a public promise she made last month to top Republicans in the Legislature not to issue orders to close businesses statewide, as she did in the spring.

She said that although the state will work with local officials in areas with big outbreaks to help them check the spread of the virus, it won’t dictate the steps they’ll take.

Kelly says that she wants to keep businesses open.

“A much more effective way is to have the local buy-in,” Kelly said. “The better way to do it rather than using the hammer is to continue to work closely with local officials, local public health officials.”

Kelly said that she is not going to micromanage the counties.