Ozark County Health Department

 

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PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(4/6/2020)

“STAY HOME MISSOURI” ORDER

GUIDANCE AND FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

To further combat the spread of COVID-19 in Missouri, Governor Parson directed Dr. Randall Williams, Director of Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, to issue a Stay at Home Order which is effective April 6, 2020.

This Order directs all Missourians to avoid leaving their residences unless necessary and to practice social distancing when they need to travel outside their homes to work, access foods, prescriptions, health care, and other necessities, or to engage in an outdoor activity.  This Order does not require all businesses statewide to close or cease operation. 

Here are some examples of things you can do under this order:  

·         Go to grocery, convenience, or warehouse stores

·         Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and other healthcare necessities

·         Go to medical appointments (check with your doctor or provider first)

·         Go to a restaurant for take-out, delivery, or drive-thru

·         Go to a place of worship – just make sure that no more than 10 people are in any single space at one time and keep 6 feet of distance between you and others

·         Take a walk, ride your bike, hike, fish, hunt, golf and be in nature for exercise – just keep six feet of distance between you and others

·         Receive deliveries from any business which delivers

Individuals shall not do the following things:

·         Visit state office buildings that are closed to the public

·         Stand closer than 6 feet of distance from others

·         Visit loved ones in nursing homes, long term care facilities, and assisted living homes, unless you are providing critical assistance 

Do work places that do not qualify as “essential” businesses have to close?

No.  Businesses that are not covered by the guidance from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) discussed in the Order may remain open but must comply with the social gathering and social distance requirements of the Order.  This means that no more than 10 individuals can occupy a single space, this includes both employees and customers.  Individuals must also maintain at least 6 feet of distance between themselves and others. Employees must also practice good hygiene and sanitation to limit the spread of COVID-19. Businesses are also encouraged to allow individuals, where feasible, to work from home to achieve optimum isolation.

Businesses can seek a waiver of the social gathering requirements from the Director of the Department of Economic Development. 

 

 

 

What businesses are “essential” under this Order?

The Order refers businesses to guidance by CISA to assist them in determining whether the work their employees do is considered “essential” during the COVID-19 response period.  Some examples include, but are not limited to:

·         Healthcare workers and caregivers

·         Law enforcement, fire fighters, and first responders

·         Government operations

·         Mental health and Social Service workers

·         Pharmacy employees

·         Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies and other retail sales of food and beverage products

·         Restaurant carryout and quick-serve food operations and food delivery employees

·         Farmworkers

·         Electricity and Utility Industry Employees

·         Critical Manufacturing Employees (medical supply chains, energy, transportation, food, chemicals)

·         Petroleum, Natural and Propane Gas Workers

·         Transportation and Logistics Workers

·         Communications and Information Technology Employees

 

Workplaces that qualify as essential under the guidance may remain open. Workers onsite should take all necessary precautions to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, including practicing social distancing except when performance of job duties require otherwise. 

 

Are there restrictions on essential businesses?

Yes.  Workplaces that qualify as essential under CISA guidelines and are engaged in retail sales to the public must limit the number of customers in each retail location to the following standards based on the workplace’s fire or building code occupancy:

 

·         For smaller locations (less than 10,000 square feet), they must maintain 25 percent or less of the authorized occupancy;

·         For larger locations (10,000 square feet or greater), they must maintain 10 percent or less of the authorized occupancy.

 

Employees at the workplace and vendors delivering products into the store are not included in this calculation and do not count toward occupancy limitations.

 

Are grocery stores considered a business “engaged in retail sales to the public”?

 

Yes, and such store is subject to the occupancy limitations in the Order.

 

Grocery stores are strongly encouraged to set aside hours, outside of regular store hours, to allow third-party grocery delivery services to provide grocery shopping services for their customers. This will allow individual shoppers to shop during regular store hours, and reduce congestion during such times. This will further allow such services to function in an environment where their services may be in excessive demand.

 

Shoppers at all retail stores are also encouraged, when possible, to limit the number of people shopping in stores to 1 person per household at any one time. This will better enable all families to access necessary goods in grocery stores, and further reduce the number of individuals necessary to access such goods. 

My local jurisdiction does not have a building or fire code. Do the limitations on square footage apply to my retail business? 

Yes. If your business is not subject to fire or building code occupancy limitations set by your local jurisdiction, you should calculate your occupancy limits based on the following formula:

For a business with a retail location less than 10,000 square feet:

A. Building Square Feet divided by 30 = Quotient 

B. Quotient x .25 = Occupancy Limit

For a business with the retail location of 10,000 square feet or more:

A. Building Square Feet divided by 30 = Quotient

B. Quotient x .10 = Occupancy Limit

Examples: 

A 40,000 square foot grocery store would be able to have 133 customers in the store at any one time. 

An 8,000 square foot retail store would be able to have 66 customers in the store at any one time.

My local fire or building code occupancy limitation calculation is lower than that allowed for businesses without any fire or building code limits, or is lower than a neighboring jurisdictions fire or building code limitations. Can I apply the same formula for calculating occupancy for my business as those without a code?

Yes. You may use either the calculation set forth above for businesses without a fire or building code occupancy limitation, or the calculation applied to your business based upon your specific local jurisdiction fire and building code occupancy limitation, whichever is greater. 

Example: 

My 30,000 square foot retail business has a local jurisdiction fire or building occupancy limitation of 700 people. Using the formula allowing only 10% of the local jurisdiction, I would be able to have 70 customers in my store at any one time. For an identical business without a local fire or occupancy limitation, they would be able to have 100 customers in their store at any one time. Under this guidance, you may have up to 100 customers in your store at any one time. 

My 6,000 square foot retail business has a local jurisdiction fire or building occupancy limitation of 150 people. Using the formula allowing only 25% of the local jurisdiction, I would be able to have 37 customers in my store at any one time. For an identical business without a local fire or occupancy limitation, they would be able to have 50 customers in their store at any one time. Under this guidance, you may have up to 50 customers in your store at any one time. 

Can childcare places continue operations?

Yes. Daycares, child care providers, or schools providing child care for working families can continue operations but should follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance targeted for those operations.

 

Do restaurants have to close?

 

No. Restaurants can be open for delivery, drive-thru, or carryout services as long as the other requirements of the Order are being followed and individuals are encouraged to use those options. Restaurants may provide dine-in services, but can only have 10 people or less within the restaurant for dining service and shall maintain at least 6 feet of distance between all individuals that are not family members. The 10 person limitation includes both employees and customers together.

 

How will this order be enforced?

The State is working with local health authorities to support the order.  Local health authorities and law enforcement maintain the same jurisdiction and authority they have always had.

 Can my local health authority impose more restrictive requirements?

Yes.  This Order establishes the minimum requirements that must be complied with statewide.  Local health authorities may enforce more restrictive public health requirements for businesses or individuals.  

When is the Stay at Home order going to be lifted?

The Stay at Home order is in place until late evening on Friday April 24, 2020.  The Order will be re-evaluated before it expires to make sure it does not need to be restricted or extended. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(4/2/2020)

Thursday night information: as of this time, we have not received any positive cases.

Let's continue to be proactive and self shelter meaning stay home, you should only be out for essential reasons, groceries, pharmacy, gas and if you are still working at job if allowed.

Remember social distancing 6 feet.

Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use a hand sanitizer that contains at 60%alcohol.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.

Stay home if you are sick.

Cover coughs and sneezes using your elbow or shoulder rather than your hands.

Clean and disinfect high-touched surfaces frequently.

If you suspect that you have COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, call your healthcare provider to let them know before seeking care, this is critical. Please follow all instructions they have provided for arriving at a healthcare facility.

The 24/7 hotline 877-435-8411

Please stay home and stay healthy, Rhonda

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(4/1/2020)

Wednesday night information: as of this time, we have not received any positive cases.

Let's continue to self shelter, self distancing, stay home if you are sick and wash your hands.

We can do this!

Stay healthy,
Rhonda Suter
Administrator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(03/23/2020)

 

 

Today at 3 p.m., Governor Parson gave his daily media briefing with opening remarks by discussing an order from Dr. Randall Williams, Director of Department of Health & Senior Services,that will go in effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 23.

 Local public health authorities are being directed to carry out and enforce the provisions of this Order by means of civil proceedings. Provisions of this order are outlined below.

1.    In accordance with the guidelines from the President and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, every person in the State of Missouri shall avoid social gatherings of more than ten (10) people. For purposes of this Order, “social gatherings” shall mean any planned or spontaneous event or convening that would bring together more than ten (10) people in a single space at the same time.

2.    In accordance with the guidelines from the President and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, every person in the State of Missouri shall avoid eating or drinking at restaurants, bars, or food courts; provided, however, that the use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is allowed throughout the duration of this Order.

3.    In accordance with the guidelines from the President and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, people shall not visit nursing homes, long-term care facilities, retirement homes, or assisted living homes unless to provide critical assistance.

4.    In accordance with the guidelines from the President and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, schools shall remain closed. 

This Order does not prohibit people from visiting a variety of places, including grocery stores, gas stations, parks, and banks, so long as necessary precautions are taken and maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, including maintaining at least six feet (6’) of distance between all individuals that are not family members. For offices and workplaces that remain open, individuals shall practice good hygiene and, where feasible, work from home in order to achieve optimum isolation from COVID-19. The more that people reduce their public contact, the sooner COVID-19 will be contained and the sooner this Order will expire.

This Order shall be in effect beginning 12:01 A.M. Monday, March 23, 2020, and shall remain in effect until 12:01 A.M. Monday, April 6, 2020, unless extended by further order of the Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services with said extensions not to exceed the duration of the effective period of Executive Order 20-02 (May 15, 2020).

 

 

 

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(03/20/2020)

Subject:  Strategies to Slow Coronavirus Spread in Ozark County

Contact:  Rhonda Suter, Administrator; Brenda Hambelton, R.N.

 


There is a lot of information going around about the Corona Virus (Covid 19). Some of the information is true and some is not. There are a lot of rumors that are spread in these situations.
It is important that people remain calm.
If you are tested for Covid 19 you need to self-isolate after the testing and use good infection prevention practices. Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, frequently. Avoid touching your face. Don’t share household items or bathrooms if possible. Clean your environment frequently to prevent spread.
It is important that everyone use good hand washing – at least 20 seconds, cover your cough, if you are sick stay home.
We will get through this, it will take time. But you can do your part to shorten the time by following the recommendations to limit gatherings to 10 people or less. The sooner that we can get the spread of Covid 19 under control the sooner we will be able to get back to life as normal.
Let’s all work together to keep Ozark County safe and healthy. Let’s stay calm. Call your family and neighbors to check on them. Do your part to stop the spread of Covid 19.
Thank-you all for your help,
Brenda Hambelton, RN
Ozark County Health Department

 

 

PRESS RELEASE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

(03/17/2020)

 

Subject:  Strategies to Slow Coronavirus Spread in Ozark County

Contact:  Rhonda Suter, Administrator; Brenda Hambelton, R.N.

 

Ozark County, Mo. - Around Missouri communities are working to slow the spread of the new coronavirus, COVID-19. Some are canceling events and closing schools. The Ozark County Health Department understands the community is concerned and may be confused about the best way to prevent the pandemic from spreading locally.

“It is very difficult at this point to know when the pandemic will reach our community and when is the best time to start canceling events and closing schools,” says administrator Rhonda Suter. “We want to get ahead of the pandemic and slow its spread, but we also want to work with our partners to make the best possible decisions for our community.”

The Health Department is following guidance from the CDC and Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) to make local recommendations.

“Regardless of whether events are canceled or schools are closed, our community members can be taking simple steps to help protect themselves and our whole community,” adds Rhonda. “Wash hands often with soap and water. Avoid touching the face with unclean hands. Keep a distance from people who are sick. Stay home when sick and keep sick children home from school or daycare.”

The CDC agrees these are the best ways to slow the spread of the coronavirus, which is passed from person to person on droplets from a sick person’s cough or sneeze. These droplets travel through the air where they are breathed in by another person, or they land on surfaces or items that another person touches. Keeping a distance of at least 8 feet from someone sick and washing hands often helps prevent this virus from spreading.

“Since the virus is new and our bodies have no immunity to it, we know that it will likely spread quickly through our community, once it arrives,” says Rhonda. “We can slow down that spread by staying home when sick, washing hands and wiping down contaminated surfaces with a bleach wipe.”

The Health Department also urges anyone who may have symptoms of the coronavirus – a fever over 100.4° F, a cough, shortness of breath, or a sore throat – to call the Missouri hotline at 877-435-8411 or call their healthcare provider before going in to the doctor’s office. The hotline can ask screening questions to determine the actual likelihood that they symptoms are COVID-19 rather than seasonal flu or a cold. The doctor’s office can prepare before a person’s arrival, so that if it is COVID-19, the patient doesn’t spread it to others in the waiting room.

The CDC reports that some people with COVID-19 will have a very mild illness. Others may be sick, but not have any symptoms at all. A few people in every community, though, will be at higher risk of getting

 

very sick, and even dying. Older adults and people of all ages with severe chronic medical conditions like heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes so far have been at higher risk of developing serious illness with COVID-19.

“We have people in our community who are at higher risk of getting seriously ill with COVID-19,” adds Rhonda. “That’s why we have to be very thoughtful about the decisions we make, maybe even canceling events and closing schools before we absolutely have to, in an effort to protect these members of our community – our friends and neighbors. We trust everyone in our community wants to do the same.”

To learn more about COVID-19, visit the CDC website at bit.ly/about-COVID, or the Missouri DHSS website at bit.ly/COVID-MO.

www.ocph.org

 

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