COVID-19 Information for the Week of April 13, 2020
|Legislative Session Update
On April 15, Missouri House and Senate leaders announced that the General Assembly would be returning to the State Capitol on April 27 to continue with the 2020 legislative session.
Update on Coronavirus in Missouri
On Monday, April 13, Missouri received confirmation from the U.S. Department of Education that it will receive $208 million under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act to help K-12 schools respond to COVID-19 related needs. Senator Nasheed believes these dollars will help Missouri schools address the digital divide that the state is currently experiencing, as well as provide resources for remote teaching and learning challenges and lost learning time. These K-12 funds will be distributed through federal Title I allocations, which means the funding will be sent first to those schools working to meet the unique needs of those who have traditionally been most disadvantaged.
On April 14, Missouri received notification that the state will also receive $54.6 million from the Governor’s Emergency Education Relief authorized under the CARES Act. These dollars allow Missouri to provide emergency support to K-12 schools, institutions of higher education and other education entities significantly impacted by COVID-19. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education also applied for and received approval of a federal waiver, authorized under the CARES Act, that gives Missouri schools flexibility when using the federal title dollars they have already received in order to best meet the needs of students and educators during COVID-19 pandemic.
Also on April 14, the governor announced that Missouri is the first state in the country to receive a federal rural transit grant as part of national COVID-19 relief efforts. The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration announced a $61.7 million grant to the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT) as part of the CARES Act. MoDOT will use the funds for operating expenses and capital assistance for 30 Missouri rural agencies, including the nonprofit OATS Inc., which operates in 87 Missouri counties.
On April 16, the governor announced he has extended the statewide stay at home order through May 3.
As of April 16:
· The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) reported more than 5,100 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Missouri.
· The City of St. Louis Department of Health reported 766 cases in the City of St. Louis.
St. Louis City Update
The City of St. Louis Department of Health recommends discontinuing the use of any imported KN95 respirator face masks for procedures that require the use of a KN95 or similar face mask, unless their authenticity and performance (through fit testing) can be verified. This includes KN95 respirator face masks labeled “Huabai” and “Sanqi” as well as unmarked face masks that do not bear a brand name.
Additionally, the Department of Health continues to ask the community to stay at home. If individuals must go out, they should physically distance themselves at least six feet from others. Wearing a mask that covers the nose and mouth is also recommended. Individuals should regularly wash their hands with soap and water, or use hand sanitizer if soap and water is not available.
St. Louis County Update
Diabetes and other chronic health conditions can be challenging to manage during a public health crisis, and these conditions may increase a person’s risk of developing serious complications if they contract COVID-19. Here is some advice for those with diabetes:
· Create an emergency contact list with numbers for friends and family, health care providers, your pharmacy and your insurance provider. Keep a list of your medications and doses (including vitamins and supplements).
· Have enough pills, insulin and testing supplies in case you get sick and can’t go to the pharmacy. Include extra batteries for your meter and/or pump.
· Have a supply of glucagon and ketone strips in case of lows and highs.
· Plan ahead so you can make fewer grocery trips or get your groceries delivered. If you are at risk for low blood sugar, keep honey, jam, hard candies, juice or regular soda on hand to raise your blood sugar level.
Additionally, the health department is urging individuals to use available resources to help deal with the difficult situations many are facing. If someone is feeling overwhelmed with emotions like sadness, depression or anxiety, or feels like they might want to harm themselves or others, please contact one of the following:
· Call 911
· Contact Behavioral Health Response (BHR): 314-469-6644 (immediate access to a counselor or social worker, free of charge)
· Mid-Missouri Crisis Line: Text “HAND” to 839863
· Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA’s) Disaster Distress Helpline: 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746. (TTY 1-800-846-8517)
· National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8225) or visit www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
To stay informed about the impact of COVID-19 on St. Louis County, individuals can sign up for text message alerts. To sign up, text: STLOUISCOALERT to 67283. To stop receiving alerts, text: STOP STLOUISCOALERT to 67283.
Connecting with Services Online
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Missourians in need can find information about essential services available through the online Missouri Services Navigator system. This resource offers instant access to available programs and services such as school meal programs for students, food banks, childcare, diaper banks, counseling and organizations that assist with housing, transportation or utilities issues. There are currently over 2,000 services listed, with new services added daily. Users can search by keyword, location and/or service. Every program and service contains a map of the location as well as contact information.
The Missouri Food Finder (www.MOFoodFinder.org) is a new online tool that easily connects Missouri consumers with people growing and selling locally produced food in their region.
The program was developed by the University of Missouri Extension’s Center for Applied Research and Engagement Systems (CARES) in collaboration with the Missouri Department of Agriculture, the Missouri Food Finder.
With the ever-changing situation regarding the coronavirus, it’s important to stay informed. For up-to-date information about the spread of the coronavirus in Missouri, please visit DHSS’ website at health.mo.gov. The department also has a 24-hour hotline to address your questions and concerns at 877-435-8411. For additional information about the coronavirus, please visit the CDC’s website at cdc.gov.