With one person in the county testing positive, both government groups have laid out new executive orders to better protect people. Nodaway County Commissioners presented an ordinance concerning emergency management March 19 while Maryville’s mayor and city manager delivered the city’s second emergency order March 29, one week after the first order.
Social distancing is the theme of both orders however there are specifics in each edict that speak to those individuals who are essential workers.
The county’s ordinance actually put teeth into the Missouri governor’s suggestions restricting gatherings such as auctions. The ordinance was patterned on one from Knox County. The law notes that all schools will be closed through April 30 and it was noted on social media that if the pandemic subsides prior to that, the commissioners would lift the school closing restrictions. Other details include:
• No more than 10 people in a single space at the same time.
• No dining or drinking inside of restaurants or bars; however, drive-throughs, pickups or delivery are allowed.
• No visiting nursing homes, long-term care facilities, retirement homes or assisted living homes.
• Schools remain closed.
• Social distancing of at least six feet at grocery stores, merchants, gas stations, parks, banks, government or at the individual’s place of employment.
The county ordinance does speak to the authority of the Nodaway County Sheriff to arrest violators; however Sheriff Randy Strong noted his office is not pulling over vehicles to issue citations. The violations could detain a person for up to 24 hours and if found guilty would be punishable by a $500 fine and confinement not to exceed three months or any combination.
Maryville Mayor Rachael Martin with City Manager Greg McDanel issued the city’s second emergency order that went into effect April 1 and will continue until April 14.
The order was basically a shelter-in-place law with the exception of essential businesses.
The list of essential businesses was quite lengthy including:
• Healthcare and public health services
• Law enforcement
• Agriculture and food creation including transportation, distribution and retail sales
• Grocery stores, food banks, convenience stores
• Food and beverage carry out, drive-through and delivery services
• Energy businesses
• Water and wastewater processing
• Transportation logistics, repair, packaging material, air transportation
• Communication infrastructure
• Information technology development and management
• Education and childcare
• Hotels and motels
• Critical financial services
• Military operations
• Construction and related supply stores
• Realtors, title companies and other services
• Mortuary services
• Cleaning services
• Lawn and landscaping services
Nodaway County Health Department Administrator Tom Patterson, along with two members of his board, visited the County Commissioners March 31 to provide an update on his agency’s work. He noted seven tests from Nodaway County have been sent to the state laboratory and private labs, that some insurance has payment, and may have processed five more. No tests have been positive. He told the nasal swab is the primary test that is sent through an overnight service with the results coming back three to five hours after the lab receives it.
Patterson said when a positive results come back a press release will come out. The person will be identified and put in isolation.
The recommended parameters of social distancing should be six feet for 15 minutes in length within the last 2-3 weeks.
He urged people to stay at home and not to go to work if the individual is sick, practice good cleanliness and social distancing.
“Good hygiene is really important and stop touching your face,” said Patterson.
He commended the commissioners on their wisdom in passing their ordinance; however, he noted that May 1 may not be long enough.
He is drafting a county-wide shelter-in-place rule that was originally from Clinton County, to be prepared should the commission requests it.
Throughout his report Patterson emphasized, “Unique times require unique action.”
He said he would provide daily updates to the commissioners.