TOPEKA, Kansas — Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly has issued an order requiring masks and daily temperature checks in the state’s K-12 schools.

Kelly on Monday set some coronavirus-inspired rules that are stricter than guidelines adopted by the Republican-controlled State Board of Education.

Kelly also released the text of a proposed order to delay the reopening of public and private elementary, middle and high schools for three weeks from mid-August until Sept. 9. Kansas law requires the state school board’s approval for a delay and it is scheduled to meet Wednesday morning.

The Democratic governor’s plans for schools are inspiring criticism from Republicans in the GOP-controlled Legislature and conservatives outside state government already critical of her handling of the pandemic. The small-government, free-market Kansas Policy Institute, influential with GOP conservatives, called Kelly’s actions “simply unwarranted.”

Kansas has seen the number of reported novel coronavirus cases more than double since June 10, when its rolling seven-day average of new cases per day bottomed out after peaking in early May. The state now has reported more than 23,000 cases and more than 300 COVID-19-related deaths.

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