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                            Coronavirus
                            top story
                            Rural Northwest Missouri counties prepare for COVID-19

                            利众棋牌While a lot of focus is on major cities, rural communities in Northwest Missouri face their own challenges in preparing for the spread of COVID-19.

                            利众棋牌Ever-changing guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have small county health departments using social media and other platforms to make sure information is accurate and timely during the pandemic.

                            “it’s very fluid at this point in time,” Andrew County Health Department Administrator Andrew Hoffman said. “Updates are coming in very often. if we make a statement, it seems like it may be an hour later there’s going to be a change to what we just said about numbers or cases or any of that.”

                            According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, there is no record being kept regarding people being denied tests. Clinton County Health Department Administrator Blair Shock said county officials are acting as if there are positive cases in the community because they believe testing has been minimal.

                            利众棋牌“At this point, testing has been so minimal that we don’t have an accurate picture of community spread,” Shock said. “We don’t have an accurate picture of whether or not we actually have cases in an individual community or not, so we’re playing on the assumption that it’s here, and so a confirmed case should change nothing from the public perception.”

                            While health departments across the region are going to Facebook to spread awareness on guidelines for their communities, Daviess County Health Department Administrator Cheryl Alexander said her staff has had to find alternate methods to communicate with Amish, Mennonite and Hutterite groups within the county.

                            利众棋牌Alexander said they have met with a bishop of the Amish community and provided paper resources to be passed out. She said they will continue to work with those communities that do not use social media.

                            利众棋牌Andrew County Communicable Disease Nurse Jayne White said that people in rural areas usually believe they are safe, but during a global pandemic it is important to provide accurate information.

                            People need to stay calm ... I like to tell people to stay vigilant about what’s going on and just make sure that you’re paying attention to where you’re at, who’s around,” White said. “If and when that first positive case does come to our area of the state that you know where you’ve been and what’s been going on.”

                            Gov. Mike Parson and President Donald Trump have recommended that people avoid crowds exceeding 10 people.

                            利众棋牌Shock said that people within the community need to treat the virus like it is here.

                            利众棋牌“We’re still advising people to take protective actions with the assumption that if it’s not in our community, it will be very shortly,” Shock said.

                            It is suggested people who feel they have symptoms of COVID-19 call their health department or doctor before going into a hospital or clinic.


                            Coronavirus
                            top story
                            Civic facilities close for distancing

                            In an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19, St. Joseph is under new orders to limit gatherings, many of the city’s indoor parks facilities have closed.

                            利众棋牌“We have everything closed right now except for the lobby of the Civic Arena is open for ticket sales and refunds for cancellations and our Administration Office is open,” Director of Parks, Recreation and Civic Facilities Chuck Kempf said.

                            利众棋牌This includes the REC Center, Remington Nature Center, Bode Ice Arena and the Joyce Raye Patterson 50+ Activity Center. All will be closed until at least April 2 in order to comply with an emergency ordinance that limits groups of people to 10 or less and closes entertainment and recreational facilities in an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

                            利众棋牌However, most city employees at those facilities are not being let go or put on leave at this time. Kempf said he asked his staff to provide him with a list of special projects that could be completed with the buildings closed.

                            “There’s always cleaning, even now, more so, with the health issue,” Kempf said.

                            ‘They’re working on cleaning the buildings very thoroughly, they’ve got some painting and minor repairs that they’re working on.”

                            利众棋牌He said staff members at the Nature Center are working on putting up new displays and taking care of the live animals that are still in the building. The ice arena requires constant work to keep it in good shape, according to Kempf.

                            利众棋牌However, a lot of the seasonal and part-time staff employed at those locations that are closed will not be working for the time being.

                            While the Civic Arena is closed for events, it will be used to house emergency items coming into St. Joseph.

                            利众棋牌“It is going to be a kind of warehouse, distribution point for emergency supplies and things,” Kempf said.

                            He said the health department had requested a location to store supplies that may be needed during the coronavirus.

                            The Parks Administration office will still be accepting phone calls as people try and plan for future events. All capital and maintenance projects will continue as planned.

                            Information on the emergency regulations and the city’s coronavirus plan can be found by calling a newly established call center at 816-271-4613. Calls will be answered from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Friday.


                            Coronavirus
                            top story
                            Evergy and KCC suspending utility disconnects

                            In order to help Missouri and Kansas residents struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic, Evergy and the Kansas Corporation Commission have temporarily suspended utility disconnects.

                            Evergy will waive late fees and add payment agreement options for residential and small-business customers. KCC’s directive covers all electrical, natural gas, water and telecommunications utilities under its jurisdiction.

                            Both companies hope this will offer relief to those experiencing hardships. Gina Penzig, Evergy spokeswoman, knew it was the right thing to do for customers.

                            ”Our communities are trying to adapt and respond to the coronavirus, and we don’t know what type of financial or economic hardship that might bring,” Penzig said.

                            Penzig encourages customers to work closely with Evergy if they’re falling behind on payments to make arrangements and work with agencies that could help them financially.

                            “It’s always a balance with something like this because you want to give that lifeline to customers, but it can create a challenge that has to be addressed later,” Penzig said.

                            Evergy also has crews prepared to address any power outage issues and will restore and repair them as quickly and safely as possible.

                            Before KCC made the decision to provide relief to residents in the jurisdiction, Linda Berry, director of public affairs, said it offered the cold weather rule, which allowed utilities not to be disconnected up until March 31.

                            利众棋牌”We wanted to ensure that as people deal with the issue, schools are out and maybe people have employment issues, they can still feel safe in their home and have a healthy environment,” Berry said.

                            Due to the World Health Organization, President Donald Trump and Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly’s declaration, Berry said it seemed only natural that this be offered.

                            Berry said the order issued applies only to utilities under the KCC jurisdiction, but Kelly issued an executive order to apply the same conditions to utilities in the state that aren’t regulated by the KCC.

                            ”We’ve gotten a lot of good feedback and I think people are very thankful they have that option should they need it,” Berry said.

                            KCC is offering the suspension until Wednesday, April 15,and Evergy will offer it through Friday, May 1. Both agencies said they’ll reassess after those dates if it needs to be extended any further.

                            Evergy recommends customers keep phones charged and create an emergency kit in case of power outages.


                            Coronavirus
                            top story
                            City Council meetings to have limited access

                            利众棋牌Due to the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis, the St. Joseph City Council meeting on Monday, March 23, will be modified to accommodate social distancing.

                            利众棋牌While the meeting is still open to the public, access to the Council Chamber will be limited. There will be a viewing area in the lobby of City Hall and, if necessary, other locations in the building.

                            Residents are encouraged to view the meeting from their homes. The meeting, as always, will be broadcast live on cable channel 19 or streamed on the city’s website at stjoemo.org.

                            Additionally, residents can view the meeting via Facebook live on the city’s page

                            利众棋牌Members of the public who wish to comment during the meeting can provide a statement or question in written form to the City Clerk’s office by 3 p.m. on the day of the City Council meeting.

                            利众棋牌Those comments will be read publicly during the public comment portion of the City Council meeting or during discussion of the topic addressed. The agenda can be found on the city’s website.

                            Future City Council meetings could be conducted by telephone, video conferencing or other electronic means should it be deemed necessary.


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