In light of the growing number of confirmed COVID-19 cases reported across the nation, including one confirmed case of the coronavirus in St. Francois County, the Ste. Genevieve County Commission and county health department released a statement detailing “enhanced community guidelines” to aid in reducing the pandemic’s spread locally.
The statement, issued Monday morning, reads, “In response to recent evidence of community spread of COVID-19 in surrounding counties, we have identified the need to take action to limit social interaction and safeguard our community.
“Through a collaborative effort between the Ste Genevieve County Commissioners and the Ste Genevieve County Health Department, and with the support of community leaders the following increased guidelines are recommended effective 12:01 am Tuesday, March 24, 2020:
- Cancel all social gatherings regardless of the number of people meeting together.
- Stay home leaving only for essential tasks, taking a limited number of family members out.
- If at all possible, work from home. If not possible, restrict stops during your travel to and from work to only essential missions.
- Limit contact with elderly as much as possible while providing assistance with needed services and supplies utilizing universal precautions and distance.
- Essential services remain open with limitations to the number of people allowed in the facility at one time, and/or providing restricted hours for the senior population to utilize services without exposure to the general population.
- Food and beverage establishments limit services to drive through or curbside services only.
- Public meetings be rescheduled or done via teleconferencing. Limit public participation in meetings by making arrangements for written statements to be accepted from the public regarding pertinent issues.
- Keep children of all ages in the home environment to discourage social gatherings. Encourage electronic methods of communication to stay in touch with friends.
“This was not, by any means, an easy decision," the news release from Ste. Genevieve officials read. "We understand this is disruptive, inconvenient and stressful. We appreciate the cooperation of the Ste Genevieve County citizens to protect our community.”
In addition to Ste. Genevieve’s enacting of stricter guidelines related to COVID-19, the Washington County Commission approved an order Thursday authorizing establishment of an Emergency Operations Center (EOC) at the Washington County Ambulance District.
According to the declaration, the EOC was to “open immediately and continue to operate as necessary to protect the citizens of Washington County.”
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