As America comes to grips with the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing, entities throughout Clinton County have been quick to react.
Both the East Buchanan C-1 and Lathrop R-II School Districts canceled school and activities for this week as they prepare for the possibility of extended closures. The Clinton County R-III School District is sure to follow suit, but already had the week scheduled off for spring break. CCR-III has also suspended activities and athletics until further notice.
The City of Gower has closed city hall and the police department to face-to-face business. City hall has a drop box for residents to pay utilities. The staff will continue to work normal business hours and can be contacted by phone.
The City of Lathrop has also closed city hall to face-to-face business while also closing the Betty Brazelton Community Room to any and all events. City hall has a dropbox for all utility payments. The city’s recycling drop off behind the Lathrop Fire Department is also closed due to Clinco’s closure in Cameron.
The City of Plattsburg has also closed city hall through March 31 or until health professionals advise otherwise. Plattsburg City Hall has a dropbox for utility payments or customers can pay online on the city’s website. The city will be sending out updates through its new Nixle mobile phone notification service (read more about Nixle on page A3 of this issue).
43rd Judicial Circuit Presiding Judge Brent Elliott has ordered that the following persons will not be allowed in the courthouses of Clinton, Caldwell, Daviess, DeKalb and Livingston Counties: Those who have traveled to any foreign country in the last 14 days, Those who reside with or have had close contact with anyone who has traveled to any foreign country in the last 14 days; Those who have been asked to self-quarantine by any doctor, hospital or health agency, Those who have been diagnosed with or have had contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19; Those with unexplained fever, cough or shortness of breath.
Court security officers will deny entry to those who attempt to enter in the courthouses in violation of those protocols. Those who cannot access the courthouse can remotely contact the departments with which they have business.
The Clinton County Commissioners have passed a similar order in regards to the Clinton County Courthouse.
Blair Shock, administrator of the Clinton County Health Department, stressed that residents should continue the following practices to help mitigate the spread of the virus – good hand washing, coughing and sneezing etiquette, staying home if you are sick, and avoiding large crowds. Those who have symptoms are urged to contact their primary care provider. Those who have questions about COVID-19 can call 1-877-435-8411, which is staffed around the clock by medical professionals who can assist in the matter.
“If we are able to adequately slow it’s spread, we will be able to limit the impact that the increase in patients will have on our healthcare system, and therefore reduce the number of bad outcomes that result,” Shock told The Leader. “If we aren’t able to slow the spread, we will experience a shortage of healthcare resources, and won’t be able to adequately care for all of those with serious illness associated with this virus. It will result in more poor outcomes.”
He reiterated that the virus won’t cause severe illness in most people, but who anyone who contracts it can pass it on to someone who may require major medical care to survive, and despite what some may say, COVID-19 is far more serious than season flu.
Those wishing to receive local updates can follow the Clinton County Health Department on Facebook.