New actions continue to be taken both locally and state-wide regarding the novel coronavirus, as organizations take steps to reduce the spread of the virus in Missouri and Lincoln County.
There are still no confirmed cases in Lincoln County of COVID-19, though the number of confirmed cases in Missouri has increased to 6, as of Monday, March 16.
Lincoln County has one pending test, and one test that has come back negative.
On Monday, March 16, the Lincoln County R-III School District announced that it was closing all its schools – including its Early Childhood and latchkey services – from March 23-April 3. The school had started its spring break on March 16.
“As you know, the safety and security of our students and staff are a top priority, and we feel that these measures are necessary,” Superintendent Dr. Mark Penny said in a statement. “We are a learning institution, and providing a quality education to every child in our district is also at the top of our list. We recognize the hardship this places on families and will do our best to provide structure, learning and community support through this time of uncertainty.”
Winfield’s schools will also close, starting March 17 through April 3.
Daniel Williams, Superintendent for Winfield, said his district is working on at-home activities for students, and that the staff and faculty are “working diligently to prepare and move forward in the best way possible.”
“As we continue to plan, information will be forthcoming,” Williams said.
The Elsberry and Silex school districts have announced that they will be closing campuses, as well as all extra activities due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Currently both schools are on spring break. The campuses will stay closed through April 5, and classes will resume on April 6.
To the south, the Wentzville School District has also closed through April 3.
On March 13, Governor Mike Parson signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in Missouri in response to COVID-19, enabling him to waive certain state laws and regulations where necessary, and to provide access to extra funds to handle the situation.
“Governor Parson’s actions taken today support our public health preparations here in Missouri that we have been working on daily since January 27,” said Department of Health and Senior Services Director Dr. Randall Williams. “This gives us a different set of resources that we will use to further our response at both the state and local level.”
The governor’s office also issued a statement urging residents to abide by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations regarding mass gatherings and events.
“As we are all aware, concerns over COVID-19 continue to grow across the state and the nation. In accordance with CDC recommendations, my administration and I strongly urge the cancellation or suspension of public gatherings of 50 individuals or more with the exception of educational institutions, daycare facilities and business operations,” Parson said. “We encourage local governments and health agencies to provide the same guidance. To protect our elderly citizens and those with underlying medical conditions, we would ask them to avoid public gatherings as much as possible.”
The Troy Police Department issued its own advisory to the community, stating that its members and Chief of Police Jeff Taylor will continue to meet regular with the Lincoln County Health Department regarding COVID-19.
The police department’s statement also touched on the governor’s advisement against large gatherings, and stated that many local stores are adjusting their hours to re-stock and sanitize properly.
“Last, the Troy Police Department would like to offer our assistance to the elderly members or those members of our community, who are at the highest risk for COVID-19,” the department’s statement said. “If you need someone to pick up medical or personal supplies and are in an “at-risk” category, please contact our non-emergency line (636) 528-4725. Our officers, both on-duty and off-duty, have volunteered to retrieve these items from the stores for you. We will make arrangements for pick-up and delivery, should anyone need assistance.
“We live in a great community. Times like this help pull us together and we are able to see how lucky we truly are to have a community that rallies around one another to get through any crisis. We at the Troy Police Department, have no doubt that we will pull through this crisis and be stronger and more united than ever.”
Up-to-date local info on the coronavirus is available at lchdmo.org/covid19.