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County Community Center Faces Unique Challenges With Coronavirus

[Editor’s Note: The community center on Tuesday announced that it would be closing on Wednesday, March 18. See the statement by clicking here.]

The challenges of public facilities like the Ste. Genevieve County Community Center during the time of the coronavirus scare was a topic of some discussion during last week’s Community Services Forum meeting.

Community center director Brad Arnold said about 800 to 1,000 people use the facility on a daily basis, so he is asking those who come to take precautions to prevent the spread of the virus.

“It’s busy right now, and there’s really no way around that,” Arnold said last week.

He said cleaning procedures have been stepped up for the 90,000 square feet of building space on the campus.

“We pride ourselves on keeping a clean facility,” Arnold said. “That is one of our everyday concerns is keeping a clean facility, and people are in a bit of a panic at the moment.”

Sandra Bell of the Ste. Genevieve County Health Department said people must also take measures to prevent their exposure to the virus and other germs.

“There is some level of personal responsibility,” she said. “You know you’re going to use this equipment, bring your own sanitary wipes, and wipe it down before you get on it and wipe it down before you get off. You have no idea who walked in there before you.

“You also should wear gloves and hand sanitizer at gas pumps,” she said. “Do you have any idea how many people drive up and down the highway and use gas pumps and the disgusting things that are on them?”

On Monday, Arnold said the community center was going to remain open but that classes and programs would be cancelled beginning Tuesday, March 17, through Sunday, April 5.


— Janet Braun of the University of Missouri Extension reported that the county’s 4-H program has grown from 49 kids to 67 and now nearly 80. The number of clubs has increased from four to seven.

“I’d love to see some more clubs and more kids,” she said.

She said she’s looking for more county organizations that might be able to partner on programs and activities for 4-H members.

— Options for Women’s Banquet for Life is scheduled for Thursday, April 30.

— The fifth annual Caregivers Conference that was scheduled for this past weekend was postponed as part of the steps taken to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The conference’s planning committee was to meet last week to discuss dates for rescheduling the event.

— A drug takeback event will take place on Saturday, April 25, at Bloomsdale Medical Centre.

— A support group for family and friends affected by drug addiction meets on the second Tuesday of every month at the Antoine Oneille Silversmith’s House on South Main Street. The next meeting is April 14.

The second meeting of the group took place earlier this month and drew more people than the first meeting.

— Ste. Genevieve County Library director Shawn Long said he was seeking county organizations to partner with for its programs. He said upcoming programs were going to be offered in partnership with the Centre for French Colonial Life, the Ste. Genevieve Museum Learning Center and the University of Missouri Extension.

The partnership with Kendall Hart of the Museum Learning Center will include a display of mythical creatures, including a troll and a Sasquatch.

“We’re going to have them throughout the library, and we’re going to incorporate them into library programs throughout the summer,” Long said. “If you haven’t been to the library, not only have we moved things around and updated quite a bit, but there will be a 9-foot tall Sasquatch to welcome you into the library.”

— The construction of Ste. Genevieve County Memorial Hospital’s Medical Office Building addition is nearing completion, it was reported. Doctors are expected to begin moving into the building on March 30. On March 31, the medical/surgery area will open.

A ribbon-cutting is scheduled for Saturday, April 24.

— Ste. Genevieve’s Head Start pre-school program is now enrolling eligible children. For more information, call 573-883-3434.

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