Public Health Warning

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson issues a statewide Public Health Warning.

MARYVILLE, Mo. — The Nodaway County Health Department is drawing attention to a public health warning issued Thursday by Gov. Mike Parson’s office and strongly urging the public to adhere to its recommendations.

Nodaway County is currently designated as a Category 1: Extreme Risk due to its seven-day COVID-19 positivity rate, according to an email from Suzanne Von Behren, RN, BSN, and Health Educator at the Nodaway County Health Department.

In order for a county to be designated as Category 1 it must have: a PCR seven-day positivity rate of 15 percent or higher using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention method, a seven-day case rate of 350 or above per 100,000 people.

According to the governor’s warning, the country is “currently experiencing an extreme outbreak of COVID-19. … Every state is affected. Every community is at risk.”

The governor’s recommendations include: business occupancy limits should be reflective of social distancing possibilities, and no social group size should be larger than 10 people.

The warning states that respiratory illnesses spread more rapidly as people move indoors and environmental conditions change and that COVID-19 is following that pattern.

“If we do not slow the spread of the virus, we risk having our health care systems overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients,” the warning notes. “... We do not need to lockdown our communities if people do the right things to fight the spread of the virus.”

Nodaway County Health Department Administrator Tom Patterson said the department is following the guidelines of the warning.

“We don’t have any policies in conflict with this,” he told The Forum by email on Friday afternoon.

The following is the governor’s warning to set expectations for “all individuals living and/or working in Missouri and our local jurisdictions.”

Personal Behavior Advisory

The foundation for our success in fighting COVID-19 remains individuals doing the right thing. To protect our families, our neighbors, our communities, and our ability to continue our daily lives, we need everyone who is able to follow these basic principles:

  • Wear a mask at all times in public and other settings outside your home where social distancing is not possible.
  • Maintain social distance of at least 6 feet wherever possible, and limit close contacts with other individuals to less than 15 minutes.
  • Wash hands multiple times a day.
  • Stay home when sick or if you have symptoms. Self-isolate from other family members.
  • As much as possible, limit your regular interactions to a small group (<10) of family members, friends, and/or co-workers if living in a Category 1 or 2 community.

Business Advisory

In addition to the basic guidance for individuals, all businesses are advised to implement basic infection prevention measures informed by industry best practices:

  • Modify physical workspaces to maximize and maintain social distancing.
  • Develop an infectious disease preparedness and response plan, including policies and procedures for workforce contact tracing when an employee tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Monitor workforce for indicative symptoms. Symptomatic people should not physically return to work until cleared by a medical provider.
  • Develop, implement, and communicate about workplace flexibilities and protections, including:
    • Encouraging telework whenever possible and feasible with business operations;
    • Working in phases and/or split shifts, if possible;
    • Limiting access to common areas where personnel are likely to congregate and interact; and
    • Ensuring that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance.

Travel Advisory

We want to minimize the risks of COVID-19 spread within Missouri and across states, especially as we approach the holiday season.

  • Minimize travel outside of Missouri. If traveling outside the state, please follow all guidance and requirements for your destination. Upon return, take as many precautions as possible, wear a mask, and monitor symptoms.
  • If planning travel for gatherings during the holidays, especially those including individuals at high risk, encourage all people to self-isolate or isolate as family units as much as practicable in advance of any such gathering.
  • Do not attend any gatherings, family or otherwise, if you have any symptoms.

Local Government Advisory

Missouri is a diverse state with diverse communities. A core principle of Missouri government is that we embrace local-level decision making tailored to each community’s unique needs. At the same time, Missourians live and work together. Most importantly, our healthcare systems are interconnected. What happens in one county affects its neighbors. Consequently, the State of Missouri government provides a baseline of public health standards and expectations. Local communities can establish higher, more stringent standards above the State’s public health advisory baseline.

In light of the COVID-19 challenge, the State of Missouri’s COVID-19 advisory provides expectations for communities based upon their localized public health data. This advisory acknowledges different jurisdictions will face different situations as the COVID-19 challenge evolves.

NOTE: Communities can move down in risk category after two consecutive weeks of meeting the lower category’s criteria. The latest county-level positivity rates and case rates can found at: https://showmestrong.mo.gov/public-health-county/. Data on this link is updated daily.

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