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The public health emergency order for Clay County will now expire on Sunday, May 3 at 11:59 p.m.
1) Since the previous expiration date of May 15 was announced, a week’s worth of Clay County-specific data has become available. Although we continue to receive reports of new cases every day, the numbers remain consistently low. This can largely be attributed to our community’s efforts to stay at home and “flatten the curve” and we want to thank everyone who has contributed to those efforts.
2) The modeling tool used by Clay County Public Health Center was updated over the past weekend and the projected peak for Missouri was lowered to a maximum projected peak of April 17.
3) By setting our expiration date to May 3, this will allow us to work with Gov. Parson’s recently released “Show Me Strong Recovery Plan” as we enter our first phase of reopening.
4) A key and significant change is that our area’s access to COVID-19 testing has greatly improved over the last week. Previously, only hospitals and some physician’s and urgent care clinics previously had the ability to test in our jurisdiction. However, Clay County Public Health Center now offers free testing for all Clay County residents and another public testing site is set to become operational in Gladstone within the next week. We are also expecting other testing clinic opportunities in the coming days and weeks.
Testing remains a critical piece in our effort to safely reopen our communities. It greatly enhances our ability to identify people who need to be isolated and quarantined to prevent them from spreading the disease to the healthy population in Clay County.
This expiration date for Clay County is not likely to change again. Moving forward, our focus will be on helping businesses and individuals establish safe ways to gradually reopen and return to normal. However, if the spread of COVID-19 increases to unacceptable levels, guidance may become stricter and the stay-at-home order may resume or restart.
There may not be an immediate and obvious change once the order expires after May 3. The county’s plan for a safe and gradual transition out of the stay-at-home order can be found here.
Yes, Clay County Public Health Center released a multi-step plan that includes guidance for businesses. You can read the COVID-19 Recovery Plan here.
Although both the state of Missouri and Clay County will now reopen on May 3, individual cities may choose whether to put additional restrictions in place. If a business is located in a city whose stay-at-home orders expire at a later date, they must follow the order of that particular city.
Every individual and business must do what they believe is best for their own situation. Although the return to normal will be a gradual one, based on health conditions or other circumstances, you may choose to stay-at-home and self-isolate from the public past May 3. Employees that are asked to return to work but do not feel safe doing so should communicate with their human resources representative or supervisor to discuss ways the company or organization plans to protect them and what their options are.
As of May 4, 2020, we will begin Phase 2: Step 1 of the Clay County Recovery Plan. The dates for transitioning into further steps of the plan will be determined later and dependent upon the current situation in the county regarding number of cases, testing and hospital capacity, etc.
You do not have to maintain a six foot distance from any person that you live with. For example, a family group is allowed to sit at the same table at a restaurant. Physical distancing (six feet) is meant to prevent germs from spreading from one household group to another.