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For more news about the COVID-19 coronavirus, access the News Tribune Health section.

Document: Cole County stay-at-home order

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Cole County's stay-at-home order has been extended until noon April 25 as the coronavirus pandemic continues.

The county order, which began March 28, had been set to end Saturday. Missouri's statewide stay-at-home, which became effective Monday, currently extends through 11:59 p.m. April 24.

The Cole County Commission approved the extension during a meeting Wednesday afternoon.

Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin, who attended the County Commission meeting, said the city would support the order.

Cole County had confirmed 35 positive cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday afternoon, including 18 active cases, 16 patients who had recovered and one death.

The latest case was not travel-related nor contracted through close contact with someone who had tested positive for COVID-19, Cole County Communicable Diseases Coordinator Chezney Schulte said.

"We're saying they contracted the virus through community spread because we're not sure how they got it, but they have indeed tested positive for COVID-19," Schulte said. "This latest person is self-quarantining at their home."

Schulte said health officials are optimistic the county's stay-at-home order is having an effect on the spread of the virus.

"Since last week, we've only had one or two new cases a day reported, and a few times there were no new cases reported," Schulte said. "We've been able to release those recovering from the virus because they have been good to adhere to their quarantines."

People listed as having recovered from COVID-19 have completed one of two tests, she said.

"They can be released from quarantine if we've collected negative swabs two times, and those collections are at least 24 hours apart," Schulte said. "The non-test method is they have been quarantined for at least seven days after testing positive, plus they have to be fever-free for 72 hours and have improving respiratory symptoms."

Essential activities allowed to continue under the stay-at-home order include working in essential businesses, obtaining supplies or necessary services, seeking medical care, caring for a family member or loved one, and exercising and maintaining personal health.

Essential services are businesses people need to provide safety for themselves and their families. They may be grocery stores, fuel stations, hardware stores, construction, vehicle repairs and supply stores. Restaurants may continue to provide pickup, drive-thru or delivery services.

Health officials have been encouraging all businesses to be creative to minimize close contact among staff by having employees work from home, staggering shifts and having work stations a minimum of 6 feet apart.

Cole County Health Department Director Kristi Campbell said they have been grateful to the business community for taking many actions on their own, such as increased cleaning and disinfecting, to prevent the spread of the virus.

More information on the order is available at colehealth.org. Questions may be submitted by email to [email protected]

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