Governmental and nongovernmental agencies provided updates Wednesday during a weekly teleconference on their response to the new coronavirus.
The Audrain County Health Department has received about 100 calls per day with concerns over the county’s Amish population.
The schools had not yet closed, but will by the end of the week, health department Administrator Sandra Hewlett said. Because the produce auction is an essential function for the community it will go forward and is exempted from the limited gathering, stay-at-home guidelines issued in the state, other counties.
The doors to the health department are now locked to control the number of people entering the department. Visitors enter one door and exit from a different door. Essential services, such as WIC, are continuing and the department is modifying other operations and temporarily suspending nonessential operations.
“People still need immunizations, but instead of a walk-in basis, we’re going to be putting out a schedule [for that service],” Hewlett said. “We’re also doing that for people that need birth certificates, death certificates, immunizations and so forth.”
Community blood pressure monitoring services have ceased. Temporary Medicaid enrollment also was paused.
Hewlett recognized nursing facilities for early adoption of quarantine policies to protect residents.
SSM has stopped all elective surgeries, except in urgent cases. X-rays and other imaging, except for urgent needs are suspended. No volunteers are allowed at the Audrain hospital and all visitors have been stopped, except for pediatric or other patients who need a person there to make care decisions.
The hospital will start screening all employees and is screening any other people who come through the doors. The hospital, at this time, has an adequate supply of personal protective equipment and requests are being made through SSM’s supply chain.
Audrain County is working on setting up its virtual emergency operations center. That will be paired with an emergency declaration to be released in the coming days, Presiding Commissioner Steve Hobbs said. The county had decided against a declaration unless advice changed.
The Audrain County Courthouse already has limited access to the east doors and the commission still is urging the public to do business by phone or email. The county commission is not considering a stay-at-home order at this time.
Boone County issued a stay-at-home order Wednesday through at least April 24. Other regional counties, such as Cooper also are not considering a stay-at-home order, while Randolph County issued its order Tuesday. It also is through at least April 24.
Audrain County continues to review guidance from the state about next steps, Hobbs said.
The Mexico Area Chamber of Commerce has closed its doors but continues to conduct business by phone or email. It has fielded calls about county government decisions.
Arthur Center Community Health has staged a screener wearing protective equipment in its vestibule, though there have been discussions to lock front doors. The Arthur Center is working to conduct visits virtually through telehealth and Facetime.
Audrain County Crisis Intervention Services is screening guests before they come in and the agency is continuing to provide critical care services for community members.
No cadets at Missouri Military Academy are sick. All cadets receive regular screenings and the campus is following some quarantine protocols, such as not allowing cadets off campus. The health department receives regular situational reports from the academy.
“COVID-19 is not going to come from MMA. It is going to come from us. Think about where you are going. Where are you visiting? Places are buttoning down as tight as they can. If a person at a medical facility tests positive, it would mean the potential quarantining of that facility,” Hewlett said.