Smaller jurisdictions address coronavirus amid lack of statewide order

Cities and counties are taking on the responsibility of responding to the Covid-19 pandemic in the show-me state. Missouri is one of the few U.S States currently without a stay-at-home ordinance.

Posted: Apr 2, 2020 7:30 PM
Updated: Apr 2, 2020 8:09 PM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Gov. Mike Parson's decision not to issue a stay at home order for Missouri has made the state one of a handful across the country yet to do so, leaving it up to local governments to decide the best method to approach Covid-19.

Locally, many cities have made regulations in response to the pandemic. Counties in our area have had a slower response.

"We’re facing these challenges like everybody else, one day at a time," Scott Burnham, Eastern Buchanan County Commissioner said.
In Buchanan County, commissioners said they continue to monitor the situation closely, they also said they want to be very careful about overreach.

"We want to make sure whatever we do we can support that from a statute standpoint," Burnham said. "Once we know that we are within our authority we will start acting in accordance with what’s going on here locally."

In Andrew County, commissioners signed off on a health emergency proclamation, that currently does not include fines for those who choose not to comply with it, but commissioners say that could change in the future.

"We’re still watching to see what happens at the state level." Bob Caldwell, Presiding Commissioner Andrew County said. "We have looked at further steps if need be."

Commissioners in both counties said businesses outside city jurisdictions seem to be complying, management at The Pasture Cafe outside Savannah said they’ve been proactive.

"We took precautions before the actual order went into place," Makaela Gabriel, owner of The Pasture Cafe said.

Gabriel voluntarily made the decision to close in house dining as recommended by the local health department, she said she knew it was the right decision, though it has come with a price.

"It obviously put a damper on business," She said. "It’s not near as busy as it was when things were normal."
Commissioners stress that personal responsibility will help this time pass faster.

"The better we follow this now, the quicker we get past this," Caldwell said.

As of Thursday evening, there are eight positive cases of Covid-19 in Buchanan County. Andrew County has reported none.

Saint Joseph
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This week will be much cooler than last week for northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. Wind chills Monday morning will be in the teens with the daytime high only getting into the 40s. Current models indicate a slight chance for precipitation Wednesday night into Thursday morning. We have a slight chance to see drizzle overnight Wednesday and flurries and/or light snow possible Thursday morning.
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