With more than 7,300 Missourians having tested positive for coronavirus, several counties and cities implemented strict “stay at home” policies for residents prior to the statewide mandate that went into effect on April 6.
Gov. Mike Parson, who declared a state of emergency on March 13, first directed the state health director to order statewide social distancing. That order includes instructing Missourians to avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people and abstain from eating in restaurants and bars.
But on April 6, the whole state fell under a statewide stay at home order effective until April 24. Parson’s directive allows for local municipalities to institute their own, more stringent guidelines and was expanded to May 3.
Here’s a look at what counties and cities across Missouri put into place before the statewide order.
Belton’s mayor joined the CORE 4 partners of Jackson County, Missouri; Johnson County, Kansas; Kansas City, Missouri; and the unified government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas in implementing a stay at home order.
Branson’s Board of Aldermen approved an ordinance prohibiting large public gatherings and placing limitations on some non-essential businesses. It went into effect on March 24 at 8 a.m.
The city said on April 28: “When it comes to reopening or anything relating to COVID-19, The City of Branson will continue to work in coordination with partner agencies, as well as the state and federal government, to monitor this rapidly evolving situation and to ensure our response actions are based on the latest facts. We will communicate updates to the Branson community as the situation changes and as we make additional decisions regarding our local response.”
Chariton County enacted a stay at home order from March 30 to April 24.
Crawford County enacted a “shelter in place” order effective April 1. Non-essential businesses and activities are to cease in the county until April 30.
The city of Forsyth issued a stay at home ordinance that went into effect on March 29.
Jackson County began requiring residents to stay at home on March 24 except for “essential needs.” Those deemed part of “vulnerable populations,” including elderly and individuals with health conditions, must stay home, the order said.
The order was extended through May 15.
Kansas City is under an emergency order requiring residents to remain at home from March 24. Mayor Quinton Lucas extended the order to May 15 from its original expiration date of April 25.
When the city reopens on May 15, it will be under what Lucas called a “10/10/10 Rule”:
The 10/10/10 Rule specifies that all non-essential Kansas City businesses must limit the number of customers allowed in their establishment at one time to no more than 10 percent of building occupancy or 10 people (whichever is larger), and record the names, contact information, and approximate entry/exit time of all customers who are on premises and seated for more than 10 minutes. Establishments such as grocery stores, medical and dental offices, pharmacies, and other essential businesses are not subject to the 10/10/10 Rule.
Effective March 30, Lafayette County fell under a stay at home order until April 30.
Perry County is under a stay at home order from March 26 to April 24.
The Platte County Health Department ordered residents to stay at home unless conducting what has been deemed an “essential activity.” The order was in place beginning on March 24 for the next 30 days.
The Platte County Health Department issued an order to reopen the county on May 4 with restrictions still in place.
Randolph County issued a stay at home ordinance from March 25 until April 24.
From March 25 to April 24, Ray County is under a stay at home order.
St. Charles County
St. Charles County has instituted an executive order requiring social distancing. The order requires residents to remain on their property or in their homes except for activities deemed “essential to their physical, mental, or spiritual well-being” or employment. The order went into place on March 24 and did not have an end date.
St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann later said the county would follow the state’s phased reopening plan.
Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on March 24, those in the city of St. Joseph “are strongly encouraged to shelter in place by remaining in their respective residences, avoiding contact with people with whom they do not reside, and avoiding public places except when necessary to obtain food, supplies, and medical treatment,” according to the order.
The order was extended until May 3.
Residents of the city of St. Louis are under a stay at home order beginning at 6 p.m. on March 23. Individuals will still be allowed to leave their homes to “continue meeting their basic needs.” The order is in place until April 22.
The order was extended indefinitely.
St. Louis County
A stay at home order is in place for those in St. Louis County beginning on March 23. Residents will still be able to go to the grocery store and take walks in public parks.
On April 16, County Executive Sam Page said he has extended the order and will re-visit it in mid-May.
The city of Eureka, part of which is under the St. Louis County umbrella, plans to reopen on May 4, Mayor Sean Flower said. Flower said the city “respects” St. Louis County and its health department but has differed on the approach to handle the pandemic, pointing to Eureka’s parks remaining open.
Taney County approved a joint resolution and proclamation of emergency that included a stay at home recommendation effective March 27 for 30 days.
This story has been updated.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn was the editor in chief of The Missouri Times from 2020-2022. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.
Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.
She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact Kaitlyn at email@example.com.