(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) In St. Joseph, the city is preparing for stronger restrictions as the coronavirus tightens its grip on the country.
In more than 24 hours, a shelter-in-place ordinance will go into effect for St. Joseph.
Bill McMurray declaring St. Joseph in a state of emergency.
“We need to overreact at this point out of an abundance of caution to try and slow this thing down,” said Mayor McMurray.
The city issuing a shelter in place ordinance Saturday night to try and slow the spread of COVID-19.
Although there are zero reported cases of coronavirus in St. Joseph as of now, Mayor McMurray said positive cases of COVID-19 are inevitable.
“We know we will have cases. Dr. Williams said as much during the last briefing from the Governor, but instead of having an enormous mountain of cases which will overwhelm our system, we want to spread that out. Bring that hill down and spread it out over time,”said Mayor McMurray.
Unless residents need to leave their homes for groceries, supplies or medical treatment, the public is strongly encouraged to stay inside.
As far as public opinion goes, local residents are all across the board.
“I think it’s a good idea so we can slow the curve of the virus, but it’s only going to work if people do what they’re told,” said Jessica Frazier, St. Joseph resident.
While other citizens said local government is going overboard. “It’s stupid, seriously… We’re not gonna die,” said Brandi Roberts, St. Joseph Resident.
The Chamber of Commerce said the ordinance is going to significantly impact local business in town.
“The impact ultimately to the economy is going to be a lot more driven by how many people are out of work and for some smaller businesses the reality is they won’t be around when this is over with,” said Patt Lilly, CEO of St. Joseph Chamber of Commerce.
Unless listed as one of the 19 essential businesses on the city's shelter-in-place ordinance, businesses will be prohibited from operating.
The new ordinance is leaving residents concerned for their fellow neighbors.
“I’m worried myself because I’m a hairdresser and if I’m not working, I’m not making any money. We live off our tips mostly,”said Frazier.
The order takes effect just after midnight tomorrow, March 23rd and will stay in place until 11:59 PM on April 2nd.