While the cases of COVID-19 in the State of Missouri are relatively low at this time, the Laclede County Health Department is encouraging citizens to heed the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and stay home as much as possible through at least April 1.
"It is important for our citizens to come together and help slow the spread of this disease," said Charla Baker, Laclede County Health Department Administrator. "While the symptoms of COVID-19 can be relatively mild for most, it can be extremely severe for our most vulnerable population. Slowing the spread will ultimately save lives and help prevent our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed."
The cases of COVID-19 nearly doubled in the State of Missouri in the last 48 hours, including several cases in neighboring Greene County. As testing increases, the number of positives will increase, and officials believe it is only a matter of time before Laclede County is directly impacted.
"This is certainly not a time for panic, but it is a time for our community to be wise and work together to help control this outbreak," Baker said. "Please follow the guidance issued by President Donald Trump earlier this week. This is not the time to use the next 14-days, or longer as a vacation. Your assistance in limiting your public outings and large group gatherings is crucial to controlling this illness.”
The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America:
15 Days to Slow the Spread
Listen to and follow the directions of your state and local authorities.
If you feel sick, stay home. Do not go to work. Contact your medical provider.
If your children are sick, keep them at home. Do not send them to school. Contact your medical provider.
If someone in your household has tested positive for the coronavirus, keep the entire household at home. Do not go to work. Do not go to school. Contact your medical provider. Your commitment to following these requests is greatly needed.
If you are an older person, stay home and away from other people.
If you are a person with a serious underlying health condition that can put you at increased risk (for example, a condition that impairs your lung or heart function or weakens your immune system), stay home and away from other people.
Even if you are young, or otherwise healthy, you are at risk and your activities can increase the risk for others. It is critical that you do your part to stop the spread of the coronavirus:
a. Work or engage in schooling from home whenever possible.
b. If you work in a critical infrastructure industry, as defined by the Department of Homeland Security, such as healthcare services and pharmaceutical and food supply, you have a special responsibility to maintain your normal work schedule. You and your employers should follow CDC guidance to protect your health at work.
c. Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
d. Avoid eating or drinking in bars, restaurants, and food courts – use drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options.
e. Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits.
f. Do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
Practice good hygiene:
a. Wash your hands, especially after touching any frequently used item or surface.
b. Avoid touching your face.
c. Sneeze or cough into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow.
d. Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.
"The CDC and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services continue to be the best sources of information on COVID-19. The Laclede County Health Department will continue to share national and state messages as well as work to provide our residents with the most up-to-date local information," Baker said.
Be sure to follow the Laclede County Health Department on Facebook for the latest information. The City of Lebanon will also be sharing health department messaging for citizens by following @CityofLebanonMO on Facebook and Twitter. If you have questions about COVID-19, call the Missouri COVID-19 Hotline at (877) 435-8411 or the Laclede County Health Department at (417) 532-2134.