Cedar County Emergency Operations Center activates with regard to Covid-19 pandemic

Cedar County Emergency Management Director Arlo Rupke and Cedar County Commissioners have declared a state of emergency for Cedar County regarding the Covid-19 or Coronavirus pandemic. This declaration is a formality required to open the avenues for resources from state and federal agencies and possible funding reimbursement down the road.

“People do not need to panic — we are not overwhelmed with Coronavirus cases,” Rupke said. “Just like in a major snow or ice storm or tornado, a disaster is declared then resources like personnel and equipment can requested for assistance. In the major snow storm we had in 2011, the National Guard was sent to Cedar County with Humvee and personnel to help law enforcement and emergency personnel around the county after an emergency was declared.”

Rupke activated an Emergency Operations Center at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, March 19. According to procedures set forth in the Cedar County Emergency Operations Plan, Rupke is the incident commander of the event. Since this is a health-related emergency, he will receive direct input from Jenean Ehlers, RN, community services manager with Cedar County Health Department. Other primary emergency agencies involved with EOC are law enforcement, emergency medical services, fire, city and county administrations. The EOC will meet each week, unless it is deemed necessary to meet sooner, to review the unfolding and daily-changing event.

Information from EOC participants

Primary discussions centered around what the county health department and other medical providers in the county are doing to prepare for and handle the event.

Cedar County Memorial Hospital/Citizens Memorial Hospital:

The roles regarding the health department, the county hospital and surrounding hospitals roles, as well as ambulance service issues were discussed. On Thursday, each expressed concerns regarding lack of personal protection equipment. According to a situation report received Saturday, March 21, from the State Emergency Management Agency,

PPE left its warehouse Friday, March 20, and should be arriving soon to the necessary agencies.

Tom Ryan, Cedar County Ambulance director of operations, reiterated if you have Covid-19 symptoms, call your medical provider. It is important you call your clinic before being seen so they can prepare for your arrival. He also mentioned Citizens Memorial Hospital system offers virtual visits. Patients can talk to a medical provider from their homes using a smart phone or computer. The medical provider will determine if they need to be tested for Covid-19.

Cedar County ambulance crews will not transport people just to be tested or to testing centers, Ryan said. If experiencing severe breathing issues, with other signs and symptoms, call 9-1-1.

Some Cedar County residents have been tested at various medical agencies and have been instructed what to do until test results come back. As of Thursday, March 19, according to Ehlers, there were no confirmed, diagnosed positive cases of the virus in the county.

Regarding questions from citizens regarding whether they should get tested, the answer is no, unless you suspect you are exhibiting symptoms. It is better to not overtax medical providers.

The public can monitor the following website to follow where positive cases are in Missouri.

https://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/novel-coronavirus/

Symptoms and information from the Center for Disease Control website (subhead, italicized)

Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease COVID-19 cases. These symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure (based on the incubation period of MERS-CoV viruses).

Symptoms include:

•Fever

•Cough

•Shortness of breath

Call your doctor if you are exhibiting any of the above symptoms or think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and call your healthcare provider for instructions on what to do regarding coming in for evaluation.

You will be asked a number of questions including if you have been around anyone testing positive for COVID-19 or have you traveled recently.

If you develop emergency warning signs for COVID-19 get medical attention immediately. Be prepared to answer screening questions while on the phone with the medical or law enforcement call taker with regard to COVID-19. If you are under quarantine or know you have tested positive for COVID-19, inform them of that fact so they can inform and protect the ambulance crew.

Emergency warning signs include*:

•Trouble breathing

•Persistent pain or pressure in the chest

•New confusion or inability to arouse

•Bluish lips or face

*This list is not all inclusive. Consult your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning.

Cedar County Sheriff’s Office

According to Cedar County Sheriff James McCrary, Cedar County Sheriff's Office has suspended non-essential visits to the Cedar County jail until further notice. All other visitors will be screened before entry into the sheriff's office or jail, including employees. The screening includes having temperature checked, sanitizing hands and a short questionnaire. Video visitation for inmates still is available. These safeguards have been initiated to help protect

everyone, including the inmates.

McCrary also is available to help with grocery needs for Cedar County residents who cannot get to the grocery.

Public health civil orders

A press release from governor Mike Parson's office was received Saturday, as stated below

Went into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday, March 23. “Local public health authorities are being directed to carry out and enforce the provisions of this Order by means of civil proceedings.

Provisions of this order are outlined below.

1. In accordance with the guidelines from the President and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, every person in the State

of Missouri shall avoid social gatherings of more than ten (10) people. For purposes of this Order, “social gatherings” shall mean any

planned or spontaneous event or convening that would bring together more than ten (10) people in a single space at the same time.

2. In accordance with the guidelines from the President and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, every person in the State

of Missouri shall avoid eating or drinking at restaurants, bars, or food courts; provided, however, that the use of drive-thru, pickup, or

delivery options is allowed throughout the duration of this Order.

3. In accordance with the guidelines from the President and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, people shall not visit

nursing homes, long-term care facilities, retirement homes, or assisted living homes unless to provide critical assistance.

4. In accordance with the guidelines from the President and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, schools shall remain closed.

This order does not prohibit people from visiting a variety of places, including grocery stores, gas stations, parks, and banks, so long as necessary precautions are taken and maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, including maintaining at least six feet (6’) of distance between all individuals that are not family members. For offices and workplaces remaining open, individuals shall practice good hygiene and, where feasible, work from home in order to achieve optimum isolation from COVID-19. The more people reduce their public contact, the sooner COVID-19 will be contained and the sooner this order will expire.

This order shall be in effect beginning 12:01 a.m. Monday, March 23, and shall remain in effect until 12:01 a.m. Monday, April 6, unless extended by further order of the Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services with said extensions not

to exceed the duration of the effective period of Executive Order 20-02 (May 15, 2020).”

General and useful information

If you feel you might have COVID-19 symptoms, CALL YOUR PRIMARY CARE PROVIDER.

If symptoms are serious, CALL 9-1-1.

Cedar County Memorial Hospital and emergency room, El Dorado Springs – (417) 876-2511

Cedar County Memorial Hospital Medical Mall Clinic, El Dorado Springs — (417) 876-3333

Citizens Memorial Hospital Stockton Family Clinic – 276-5131

Citizens Memorial Hospital Emergency Room, Bolivar — (417) 326-6000

Citizens Memorial Hospital Clinic, El Dorado Springs — (417) 876-2118

Mercy Clinic, El Dorado Springs — (417) 633-7383

Mercy Springfield emergency room — (417) 820-2000

Citizens Memorial Healthcare system offers virtual visits. For more information go to citizensmemorial.com.

Municipal Election

The general municipal elections in both Stockton and El Dorado Springs have been postponed until Tuesday, June 2.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has announced it has shut off electricity and water to camping areas. There is no water available

in its parks. Primitive camping only is available. Boat ramps will remain open. Employees are working from home. The visitor center and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office is closed until further notice.

Check out Facebook pages

Many resources can be found on Facebook or website with more immediate, up-to-date information. Check out Center for Disease

Control for specific information regarding the virus. Check medical providers Facebook pages and websites. The Stockton and El Dorado chambers of commerce are tracking for business closings or information on hours, etc., Stockton R-I and El Dorado Springs R-II School Districts both have Facebook information and one-call systems and individual business pages.

Senior Centers

Both county senior centers are closed, but home-delivered meals are still available.

Schools

In accordance with the guidelines from the President and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, schools shall remain closed.

Questions?

Cedar County Missouri Office of Emergency Management has set up a special email account for questions or concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic: cedarcountycovid.19@gmail.com

Small businesses

SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Missouri Small Businesses Economically Impacted by COVID-19.

The U.S. Small Business Administration is offering low-interest federal disaster loans for working capital to Missouri small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19, according to SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. The SBA acted under its own authority, as provided by the Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act recently signed by the President, to declare a disaster following a request received from Gov. Michael L. Parson Tuesday, March 17.

The disaster declaration makes SBA assistance available in the entire state of Missouri.

Applicants may apply online, receive additional disaster assistance information and download applications at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. Applicants may also call SBA’s Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955 or email disastercustomerservice@sba.gov for more information on SBA disaster assistance. Individuals who are deaf or hard-of-hearing may call (800) 877-8339. Completed applications should be mailed to U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.

The deadline to apply for an economic injury disaster loan is Dec. 21, 2020.

For more information about Coronavirus, please visit: Coronavirus.gov.

For more information about available SBA resources and services, please visit: SBA.gov/coronavirus.

This information was compiled and provided to the Cedar County Republican by Becky Groff, Public Information Officer, Cedar County Office of Emergency Management.

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