COVID-19 Information for the Week of March 16, 2020
|Update on Coronavirus in Missouri
On March 13, the governor signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in response to the spread of the coronavirus. This will provide the state more flexibility in responding to the coronavirus and allow the state to access additional funding. The governor signed another executive order on March 18, invoking emergency powers and allowing executive agencies to waive or suspend certain regulations and statutes that interfere with Missouri’s response to the spread of COVID-19. For example, this will enable doctors to diagnose and treat patients more easily through telemedicine to avoid physical contact, it extends the hours commercial drivers can operate on Missouri roadways in order to deliver essential supplies and it removes barriers to entering the education profession in order to mitigate teacher shortages.
On March 15, following guidelines from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the governor urged the cancellation or suspension of public gatherings of 50 individuals or more with the exception of educational institutions, daycare facilities and business operations. Since that time, the White House has revised that limit, urging gatherings of no more than 10 people. Officials in St. Louis City and St. Louis County have put similar measures in place to limit the size of gatherings.
On March 17, St. Louis City Hall and the city facility at 1520 Market began temperature testing those entering the buildings. Anyone with a temperature higher than 100.4 must return home and not enter either building. This protocol is intended to limit exposure to the virus.
The Missouri Department of Corrections (DOC) has also announced additional screening measures for those entering DOC facilities. Beginning March 19, 2020, any staff member, vendor or other individual will be required to go through a verbal screening process in order to enter any DOC facility. In the event an individual attempting to enter a correctional facility is identified as high risk due to symptoms or because they may have been at risk of exposure to COVID-19, that person will not be allowed entry. This comes after it was announced that offender visiting was suspended at all state prisons for 30 days, beginning March 12.
There have now been more than two dozen confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Missouri. On March 18, the state’s first confirmed death in Missouri contributed to COVID-19 was in Boone County. That same day, it was announced that a second positive case of COVID-19 was detected in the City of St. Louis.
What You Can Do Stop the Spread
According to the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), Missourians across the state are encouraged to take the following steps to prevent the spread of illnesses like the coronavirus:
As part of their 15 Days to Slow the Spread campaign, the White House is urging people to take the following additional steps:
Ameren Missouri has announced that it will suspend all disconnections for non-payment and forgive any late payment fees for residential and business customers. Customers who are having difficulty paying their bill are encouraged to contact Ameren’s customer care team for a variety of payment options.
Recently, in order to help Missourians stay connected to information about the coronavirus, AT&T announced that for the next several weeks, they will:
AT&T also announced they will suspend data caps on home internet usage.
Missouri Bankers Association
The Missouri Bankers Association (MBA), a statewide trade and professional organization representing 260 banks and savings and loans institutions in Missouri, has put the following information regarding their financial institutions:
The Missouri Supreme Court has suspended all in-person proceedings in all appellate and circuit courts, including all associate, family, juvenile, municipal and probate divisions through April 3, 2020, subject to the following exceptions:
Missouri Department of Economic Development
The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) is currently working with the U.S. Small Business Administration to bring assistance to Missouri businesses through emergency loans. More information will be available in the coming weeks and can be found on the DED’s website.
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
The ongoing situation with the coronavirus has led all school districts and charter schools around the state to close their doors. As students, parents and teachers wonder how this disruption may affect the current academic year, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is providing information regarding student attendance, school closure, assessments and virtual education opportunities. This information can be accessed at dese.mo.gov/communications/coronavirus-covid-19-information.
Municipal Elections Moved
The governor has signed an executive order postponing municipal elections from April 7, 2020, to June 2, 2020.
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.