One hour and two minutes after Maryville released its fifth emergency order, allowing businesses to reopen with restrictions May 4, the Nodaway County Health Department announced the county’s fourth confirmed case of COVID-19.
The new emergency order, which follows statewide guidelines for reopening, comes before the official results of a local mass testing, held April 28, have been returned. Shortly after the order was released, the NCHD released a statement saying a woman aged 90-99 tested positive for the coronavirus at Mosaic Medical Center - Maryville.
“If you have not been contacted by the health department, then you are not considered a close contact, and not at risk…. the health department urges the public to practice social distancing” the release stated.
Nodaway County saw its first positive case of COVID-19 April 2. It then announced a second positive case April 5, and a third April 13. The fourth case, announced April 30, comes amid a statewide reopening process, where attempts to expand testing capacity, expanding personal protective equipment reserves, monitoring healthcare system capacities, and improving the ability to predict potential outbreaks using Missouri’s public health data are described as top priorities.
However, gathering accurate local data on the effects of COVID-19 has proven difficult for places like Nodaway County, where testing capacities are still low, even with the convenience mass testing that occurred April 28. That day, the NCHD tested 98 individuals, when it had the ability to test 200.
But even testing all 200 individuals would have provided results for just 0.9% of the county’s 22,092 people. Instead, with 98 test participants, the county will get back 0.4%.
Including social distancing suggestions under “Exhibit A,” the fifth emergency order released by the city comes in accordance with Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s “Show Me Strong” plan for reopening.
City Manager Greg McDanel wrote on Facebook April 30, saying the order included both guidelines laid out by Parson’s plan, as well as “Opening Up America Again” guidelines from the White House.
“Please proceed with caution and thoughtfulness so we can avoid doing this again,” McDanel wrote.
The order allows all businesses to reopen operations beginning May 4, and allows for retail locations to house up to 25% or up to 10% of its building’s respective occupancies. Restaurants will be allowed to offer dine-in with six feet of space between tables and allowing groups of 10 or less.
Social gatherings remain limited to 10 people until May 16, whereupon that limitation will grow to 50 people until the end of May. By June 1, the limitations may be completely lifted along with restrictions on business.
Mayor Rachael Martin tweeted April 30, saying the community is taking a smart approach.
“I know we can be smart about this and keep each other safe as we ease in to the new normal,” Martin said in the tweet. “Much love to all of you as we navigate this together.”