Stay at Home

Tuesday, March 24 - Friday, April 24


On Sunday, March 22, Director of Public Health Gary E. Zaborac issued orders for Clay County residents to stay at home except for essential activities. Read the full document here.

Frequently Asked Questions 

(Updated 4/1/20)


Dear Clay County community members,

The COVID-19 virus continues to spread in the Kansas City area and is a threat to the health of all of us, regardless of age or health condition. In response to this threat, Clay County Public Health Center has issued public health emergency orders for all who live and work in Clay County to “stay at home” except for essential activities. These orders will be in place from Tuesday, March 24 through Friday, April 24, 2020.

The COVID-19 virus is spread when someone who is infected, whether they know it yet or not, coughs or sneezes and shares respiratory droplets with others that they are in close contact with. By dramatically limiting the amount of physical contact we have with others, we can reduce the number of people who become sick and need immediate medical attention. As the health care system works hard to limit the spread of COVID-19, everyday life challenges still happen. They still work to provide care for heart attacks, stroke and many other life-threatening conditions. By practicing social distancing, you can help prevent our health care system and workers from being overwhelmed and help save lives.


What CAN I do?
  • Go to the grocery store or pharmacy
  • Visit a health care provider if you are sick or have an emergency medical need
  • Enjoy the outdoors while practicing social distancing
  • Perform your job that is essential to the health and safety of the community
  • Perform your job or communicate through phone calls, video calls online or through other channels that are not in-person
  • Take care of elderly relatives, young children, those with medical needs or pets
What can I NOT do?
  • Dine in a restaurant or drink at a bar
  • Go to a nail or hair salon, spa, clothing store, gym, fitness studio or get my pet groomed
  • Go to a movie, concert, sporting event or worship service
  • Attend a wedding or funeral
  • Visit friends and family who do not live with you, especially those who are at high risk of getting seriously ill from COVID-19
What should I ALWAYS do?
  • Keep physical distance between yourself and others, about six feet
  • Wash your hands often, for at least 20 seconds
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces
  • Stay home and away from others when you’re sick
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or always cover sneezes and coughs with a tissue that is promptly thrown away
  • Stay calm and follow trustworthy local officials for updates and guidance

We encourage you to use these unprecedented times to look after yourself and your community in ways you may not normally. Pay attention to your physical health and call your doctor if you don’t feel well. Check on your elderly family members and neighbors. Take extra steps to care for your mental health like going on walks outdoors or arranging daily video calls with friends and family. Find creative and generous ways to support others in need who may need help financially, emotionally or in other ways.

We know many of you will still have questions about how these orders apply to your own life and we will try to provide more information and answers to your questions over the next few days. However, remember the main goal of shelter in place: to protect the people in our communities, and keep our first responders, hospitals, medical staff, and entire healthcare system from being overwhelmed. By following these orders over the next few weeks, whether as an employer, employee or just as a friend or neighbor, you will have an impact on everyone else in our community. Doing your part now will save lives later.

Thank you for playing your part to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Clay County!

When You Should NEVER Leave Home

Please self-quarantine at home (do not leave) for 14 days if you:

  • Test positive for COVID-19 and/or are exhibiting common symptoms of COVID-19 (cough, fever, shortness of breath).
  • Share a household with someone that has tested positive for COVID-19.
  • If you have returned from traveling to a state or country with widespread community transmission within the last 14 days as identified by the current CDC guidelines.
  • Traveled on a cruise ship or internationally.
  • Have previously been told by Public Health to quarantine because of international travel or cruise ship travel.
  • Received notification from public health officials (state or local) that you are a close contact of a laboratory-confirmed case of COVID-19. You should quarantine at home for 14 days since your last contact with the case. (A close contact is defined as someone who has been closer than 6 feet for more than 10 minutes while the patient is symptomatic.)


Stay at Home List of Do's and Don'ts

Make a Complaint


Please review the emergency orders and Stay at Home FAQs first to learn what is and is not considered an essential business.

To report a Clay County business or organization that you believe is in violation of the emergency orders, please submit a complaint here

PLEASE NOTE: if the business' address is Kansas City, you must contact the Kansas City Health Department.

  1. Why was this order issued?
  2. How long is the order in effect for?
  3. What does this order require?
  4. Will residents be subject to penalties such as arrest or citations for leaving their homes?
  5. Does my business qualify as an essential business as defined in the emergency order?
  6. How are determinations made about which types of businesses are essential?
  7. My business does not fall under one of the categories deemed essential, can it remain open if health precautions are taken?
  8. Do businesses and/or employees need formal certification or identification that they qualify as an essential business and/or are employed at an essential business?
  9. I am unclear whether my business qualifies as essential or non-essential. Can I receive a formal recommendation from the city as to whether I qualify?
  10. I want to have a wedding, dinner party, or other group event at my house. Is that allowed?
  11. What about services at places of worship (including weddings and funerals) or outside?
  12. What are the penalties for non-compliance of this order?
  13. How will this emergency order be enforced?
  14. Is construction activity classified as essential?
  15. Are manufacturing facilities classified as essential?
  16. Are transit operations such as railroads, airports, buses, and truckers classified as essential?
  17. Are hotels and motels classified as essential?
  18. Are home repair and maintenance services classified as essential?
  19. Are communications providers (such as internet providers, businesses that enable internet access and availability, organizations that support distance learning, etc) classified as essential?
  20. Are liquor stores and other markets that sell liquor classified as essential?
  21. Are child care providers classified as essential?
  22. Are realtors, leasing agents, building inspectors, and movers classified as essential?
  23. Are personal services, such as nail salons, hair salons, and tanning facilities classified as essential?
  24. Are gyms, workout facilities, parks or golf courses classified as essential?
  25. Are smoke shops and tobacco stores classified as essential?
  26. Why are schools closed and how long are they closed for?
  27. I work at an essential business but don’t believe I am an essential employee. Do I have to work?
  28. How can I let you know about a business or organization that might be violating the emergency order?
  29. I own a business in an essential industry. Do I have to stay open?
  30. My business and/or my job has been impacted by COVID-19, where can I go to get help?
View All