The three counties surrounding Ste. Genevieve County apparently have their first cases of the coronavirus, known as COVID-19, as of this past weekend, while Ste. Genevieve County had yet to report a positive test.
Nonetheless, Ste. Genevieve County Health Department director Sandra Bell met with the County Commission again on Monday seeking to place stronger rules in place than the state of Missouri had done on Saturday.
Dr. Randall Williams, director of Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services, issued an order on Saturday that included four areas. It called on Missourians to avoid social gatherings of 10 or more people; to avoid eating at bars or restaurants with the exception of those that provide drive-through, pickup or delivery; and not to visit nursing homes, long-term care facilities, retirement homes or assisted living homes. It also ordered that schools shall remain closed. The order went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday and remains in effect until 12:01 a.m. on Monday, April 6.
The County Commission on Monday morning approved increased guidelines that included more stringent regulations. For example, it called for canceling all social gatherings regardless of the number of people and it called for restaurants to provide only curb-side or drive-through services and not allow customers to enter establishments for pickup.
Bell encouraged businesses that do remain open to offer times for senior citizens only to shop, as the elderly have been the most susceptible to the harshest forms of the coronavirus.
She also encouraged any open public facilities to screen those who enter with a forehead temperature scanner, which was being done at the health department and was being implemented at the courthouse.
As of Monday, both of those facilities are now closed to the general public except by appointment only.