July 22 COVID-19 update from health department:

 

(Lawrence County Health Dept., July 22, 2020) We are ann

Lawrence County Health Department is announcing 2 new cases today. There are no high risk public exposures to report. There are currently 34 active cases; 94 recovered; and 2 deaths. We currently stand at 134 total cases.

 

Updated COVID-19 information from health department:

 

(Lawrence County Health Dept., July 21, 2020) We are announcing 15 new cases. We hope you understand that there is an incredible amount of work that is put into each case. Because of that and the other services we offer, we are not always able to issue a daily release but we try our best.

All positive cases have been told to isolate at home from all others, and their close contacts have been notified and told to quarantine at home for 14 days and monitor for symptoms. The only case that exhibited potential community spread is explained below. (See complete news release)

Lawrence County currently stands at 54 active cases with 76 recovered. We have had two deaths. During the course of the pandemic, Lawrence County has recorded 132 total cases.

 

With 12 new cases, county's total active cases now at 70

 

(Lawrence County Health Dept., July 17, 2020) The Lawrence County Health Department is announcing 12 new cases. We currently stand at 117 Total Cases: (70 Active, 45 Recovered, and 2 Deaths)

 

All positive cases have been told to isolate at home from others and their close contacts told to quarantine for 14 days.

 

One of the cases worked while symptomatic at Price Cutter in Aurora July 6th-8th and 10th  5:30am-3pm (masked). There is not a significant risk to the public but if you were at this location, please monitor for symptoms for 14 days.

 

If you think, you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop symptoms, call your health care provider, or use the CoxHealth virtual visit https://www.coxhealth.com/services/virtualvisits/.com

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

 

Fever or chills, Cough, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, Fatigue,  Muscle or body aches, Headache,

New loss of taste or smell, Sore throat, Congestion or runny nose, Nausea or vomiting, Diarrhea

 

Everyone is urged to take preventive actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19.  These actions include:

  • Wear a mask out in public and/or at work. “I protect you, You protect me”.

  • void large, crowded social gatherings where social distancing is difficult to achieve.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with the crook of your arm, or in a tissue, then wash hands.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

  • Stay home if you are sick.

 

County distributes first round of funds; starts second application period for Coronavirus Relief Funds

(Lawrence County Commission, July 16, 2020) Lawrence County Commission has awarded nine applicants a total of $140,000 in Phase 1 reimbursements for immediate costs related to the Coronavirus pandemic. It is now launching Phase 2, which is a combination of reimbursements and advance approvals for eligible costs from nonprofits, churches and public entities.

To date, the county has also expended $61,000 for public health and other related Coronavirus costs incurred by the county.

The money comes from a $4.49 million allocation from the federal government for immediate, necessary costs associated with the outbreak. Federal guidelines dictate how the money can be spent.

Besides public health, most of the initial spending has been for Lawrence County schools as they work to educate and provide meals to students during the closings, and to develop a safer environment for the return to classes.

Applications that were funded came from Aurora, Marionville, Miller, Mt. Vernon and Pierce City school districts; the cities of Aurora and Mt. Vernon; the Lawrence County Nursing Home District; and the Lawrence County Board for the Developmentally Disabled.

Deadline for the next round of applications is July 31. Details and criteria can be found at https://www.lawrencecountymo.org/coronavirus-fund. Questions can be directed to the county commission at 466-3666.

Free COVID-19 testing to be offered near Lawrence County

 

(Lawrence County Health Dept., July 16, 2020) Starting Saturday July 18th, there will be several free COVID-19 testing sites near Lawrence County (Cassville, Joplin, Carthage and Neosho). See the attached schedule for more details. Registration is now open! Individuals must register at www.health.mo.gov/communitytest. Those who need assistance registering may contact the Missouri COVID-19 Hotline (toll-free) at 877-435-8411. The hotline has access to language services when needed.

Thirty-six new cases, a second death in Lawrence County

 

(Lawrence County Health Dept., July 14, 2020) Lawrence County Health Department is Announcing 36 New Cases. We are sorry to announce our 2nd death in Lawrence County. Our thoughts are with the family. We currently stand at 105 Total Cases: (63 Active, 40 Recovered, and 2 Deaths)

Fifteen of the new cases are linked to Lacoba Nursing Center in Monett. All positive cases have been told to isolate at home from others and their close contacts told to quarantine for 14 days.

Some of the positive cases visited the following locations:

• Crown Power Equipment July 6th 9 or 10am (no mask)

• Freedom Christian Church P.M. service -July 6th pm service

17044 State Hwy 39, Aurora, MO

• Walmart (Aurora) –July 9th 10-11 am (no mask)

July 10th 3pm (masked)

July 11th 12-12:15pm (no mask)

• Flat Creek (Republic) July 9th 12pm (no mask)

• Dollar General (Aurora) July 9th 6-6:30pm (masked)

• Al Azteca (Mt. Vernon) July 10th 6:30or 7pm (no mask)

• Walmart (Monett) July 11th 6:30pm (no mask)

• Walmart (Mt. Vernon) July 12th 2:30 pm(no mask)

• Dollar General (Monett) July 12th 1:45-2pm (masked)

• Caseys (806 Elliott , Aurora) 6:30pm (no mask)

• Kum and Go (Monett) July 8th, 9th, 10th 6:30am (no mask) July 10th, 11th, 12th 7:30 or 8pm (masked)

• Caseys (Pierce City) July 12th, 13th 7:30 or 8am (masked)

• Tontos Liquor (Pierce City) 9pm (no mask)

If you were at these locations, please monitor for symptoms for 14 days. If you think, you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop symptoms, call your health care provider, or use the CoxHealth virtual visit https://www.coxhealth.com/services/virtualvisits/.com. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus.

 

People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

Fever or chills, Cough, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, Fatigue, Muscle or body aches, Headache, New loss of taste or smell, Sore throat, Congestion or runny nose, Nausea or vomiting, Diarrhea

Everyone is urged to take preventive actions to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These actions include:

• Wear a mask out in public and/or at work. “I protect you, You protect me”.

• Avoid large, crowded social gatherings where social distancing is difficult to achieve.

• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

• Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

• Cover your cough or sneeze with the crook of your arm, or in a tissue, then wash hands.

• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

• Stay home if you are sick.

 

License office at courthouse temporarily closed

 

The Mt. Vernon License Office has announced a temporary closure. This does not affect other offices in the Historic Courthouse. Following is the announcement from the license office, which is independently operated:

 

(Mt. Vernon License Office, July 14, 2020) Due to recent exposure the health department has recommended closure of our office until July 24th. Our office will be closed until that time. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope all of our customers remain healthy. The Greenfield and Aurora License Office's are open during this time to serve you. We appreciate your business and look forward to serving you in the future.

Sixteen positive cases added to county's total July 10

 

(Lawrence County Health Department, July 10, 2020) We are announcing 16 new cases today.

As we go into the weekend, please consider wearing a mask in public if you do not already. We cannot emphasize this enough. We are confident that this simple act can significantly improve our case numbers and reduce spread. Remember, the mask keeps the wearer's viral germs "in" or "to themselves". Symptoms can sometimes be very mild and in some individuals non-existent (asymptomatic) so wearing a mask anytime you are out helps protect those around you. Let's help each other get out from under this dark cloud once and for all.

Eight of the new cases are linked to Freedom Christian Church/Ministry, and four are linked to other positive family members. One is a work exposure at EFCO,; one is determined to be community exposure; and one is still under investigation. All positive cases have been told to isolate at home from others and their close contacts have been told to quarantine for 14 days.

Some of the positive cases visited the following locations: on July 5, several attended a morning service at Freedom Christian Church; on July 6, Mt. Vernon License Bureau at 2:45 p.m. (no mask) and shopped at Wal-Mart at 3:30 p.m. (masked); on July 7, Grande Tire in Aurora, 1 p.m. (symptomatic, no mask); ate at Texas Roadhouse, Springfield, approx. 8-9 p.m. (symptomatic, no mask); on July 8, ate at Red Barn in Mt. Vernon (symptomatic, no mask).

There have now been 69 positive cases in Lawrence County since the onset of the pandemic. Thirty are currently active and 38 have recovered.

For the complete news release:

http://www.lawrencecohealth.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/07/7-10-20-COVID-Press-Release.pdf/

 

July 5-7 Revival attendees urged to quarantine

 

(Lawrence County Health Department, July 7, 2020) This is an urgent message directed towards anyone who attended the Freedom Christian Center Revival from Sunday morning July 5th through Tuesday evening July 7th. If you attended the revival during any or all of these dates, we highly encourage you to PLEASE quarantine at home for 14 days from the last day you attended the revival and monitor for symptoms of COVID-19. These symptoms include:

Fever or chills
Cough
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing Fatigue
Muscle or body aches
Headache
New loss of taste or smell
Sore throat
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
Diarrhea

A person who attended the revival has tested positive for COVID-19 and was infectious at the revival. We know there are additional attendees of the revival who are also exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms. This person ALSO worked at Legacy Meats Co. on Tuesday, July 7th while infectious. The individual was not masked at any time during the revival or work. If you purchased meat at Legacy Meats Co., there is no need to dispose of the meat, however you are asked to monitor for symptoms for 14 days. It is not necessary to quarantine (unless you attended the revival also).

Quarantine means not leaving your home for 14 days from your last exposure. You are asked not to work, or go out in public (including attending church services) UNTIL the 14 days are over because at any time during those 14 days you can develop symptoms and infect others. It’s ideal for you to ask others to shop for you, or use contactless grocery pick up. If you live with others, everyone needs to monitor for symptoms. If you absolutely have to leave the house it is extremely important to wear a mask. If you start to exhibit any of the symptoms listed above, please call your doctor for testing or referral for testing. If you do not have a doctor, please use the CoxHealth virtual visit https://www.coxhealth.com/services/virtualvisits/ and be sure to use the code: COVID.

Due to the close contact between attendees, this has the potential to cause a large outbreak in our county that can put many others at risk if quarantine recommendations are not followed. The fact that we are issuing such an urgent release asking for mass cooperation from a large group of people points to the seriousness of this evolving situation. We will be advising Freedom Christian Center not to hold any church services or any other event until we can determine that it is safe for the public to return. We are still in the process of the investigation and will post more information as it is received.

 

Sixteen active, 31 recovered in Lawrence County as of July 7

 

(Lawrence County Health Department, July 7, 2020) The Lawrence County Health Department is announcing one new case. This individual was a close contact of a positive family member from another county and has been isolating at home since July 4. They visited the following places during their infectious period (people with COVID-19 are considered infectious for 48 hours before symptoms), and did not start exhibiting symptoms until later on the 3rd. If you visited these places during these times, you should monitor for symptoms for 14 days from the time of visit: July 1, Itty Bitty City, 3640 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield, 2:30-4 p.m., Harbor Freight, 3909 S. Campbell Ave., Springfield, 5-6 p.m., and Dollar General, Halltown, 6:30 p.m. (no mask). July 2 and 3, 1-7 p.m., worked at Lowe's, Republic (masked). We currently stand at 48 total cases (16 active, 31 recovered and 1 death). Full news release

Total positives now at 47 with 17 of those active

 

(Lawrence County Health Department, July 6, 2020) The Lawrence County Health Department is announcing 4 new cases. Two are linked to another family member in the home who is already positive and the other 2 are considered community exposure with no other link. There are no locations to report that would have exposed the general public.

County's COVID positives at 43, with 21 of those recovered

 

(Lawrence County Health Department, July 2, 2020) The Lawrence County Health Department is announcing 3 new cases. All cases are isolating at home and their household members are under quarantine. Direct contacts with other positive cases could not be determined with 2 of the cases so community exposure is likely. One case is another linked to the Bentonview Park Health and Rehab in Monett where they have already had cases. There are no locations to report that would put the public at risk. We currently stand at 43 total cases (21 active, 21 recovered, and 1 death). Full news release.

Three more positives in Lawrence County brings total to 40

 

(Lawrence County Health Department, July 1, 2020) We are now up to 40 cases. We would ask that everyone please wear a mask in public places unless you are not medically able to or a young child under the age of 2. We cannot emphasize this enough. In order to keep our county "open" it is imperative we all help each other stay healthy.  I Protect You,You Protect Me. 

http://www.lawrencecohealth.com/…/7-1-20-COVID-Press-Relea…/

First death related to COVID-19 in Lawrence County

 

(Lawrence County Health Department, June 29, 2020) We are truly saddened to report the first death related to COVID-19 in Lawrence County. We are also announcing 4 new cases. The McCallister's location was on Primrose in Springfield. Detailed news release.

Four added to count of positives in Lawrence County

 

(Lawrence County Health Department, June 26, 2020) The Lawrence County Health Department is announcing 4 new cases of COVID-19. Lawrence County now has a total of 31 cases (8 of those are recovered, 23 are currently active).

We have made a decision to only post itineraries of positive cases if it poses significant risk to the community. You will be contacted directly if you have been identified as someone who has been in close contact with any positive cases during their infectious period.

One of our new cases is an employee at Play Power in Monett, MO. We have been working closely with Play Power to determine which employees were most at risk from working near this individual. All of those employees have been told to self-quarantine at home for 14 days from last exposure. Play Power has shut down a large area of the plant (30,000 sq. ft.) until Monday and will deep cleaning and disinfect all common areas. They are taking the situation very seriously and have been extremely cooperative. We will continue to follow up with the positive case and all close contacts during their time of isolation and quarantine.

Two of the new cases are direct contacts of active cases and one is still under investigation.

As cases continue to rise in Lawrence County and surrounding counties it is vital to continue taking precautions:

When out in public, understand that anyone you are around could potentially be carrying the virus. People are also infectious 48 hours before showing symptoms (unless asymptomatic). Therefore, we strongly recommend wearing a mask. Think of it as “I protect you, you protect me”’. Yes, masks are not 100% effective, but it sure beats no protection at all.

  • Wear a mask or face covering in public

  • void large crowds and gatherings

  • Keep 6ft of distance between you and others (even when masked)

  • Stay home when sick

  • Wash hand frequently, don’t touch your face, and clean frequently touched surfaces often

    Symptoms of COVID-19 include:

    Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea. If symptoms develop, contact your health care provider. Visit our website at www.lawrencecohealth.com for more information about COVID-19 and testing.

 

Nine additional cases reported June 25

 

(Lawrence County Health Dept., June 25, 2020) The Lawrence County Health Department is announcing 9 new cases of COVID-19. Lawrence County now has a total of 27 cases (7 of those are recovered, 20 are currently active).

Positive cases have been told to self- isolate at home. Close contacts have been or are in the process of being notified and the health department will continue to monitor these individuals and provide instruction.      

Many of the positive cases only traveled between home to work before diagnoses and it was determined some cases visited the following locations while possibly infectious:

June 12th, 13th, and 14thth – Rapid Roberts in Monett, MO (near DQ) in the afternoon (no mask)

June 18th – Dollar General in Purdy, MO around 6:00 p.m. (no mask)

June 19th – Walmart in Monett, MO 2:30 – 3:00 p.m. (no mask)

June 19th – Lowes in Monett, MO 5:00 – 5:30 p.m. (no mask)

If you were at these locations during these dates and times there is no need to self-quarantine unless any of these symptoms develop: Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, or diarrhea. If symptoms do develop, contact your health care provider.

As cases continue to rise in Lawrence County and surrounding counties please continue to take the following precautions:

  • Wear a mask or face covering in public (this helps protect others from YOU if you are “pre-symptomatic”)

  • Avoid large crowds and gatherings

  • Keep 6ft of distance between you and others

  • Stay home when sick

  • Wash hand frequently, don’t touch your face, and clean frequently touched surfaces often

 

Visit our website at www.lawrencecohealth.com for more information about COVID-19 and testing.

COVID-19 count at 18: 7 of those resolved, 11 current

  

(Lawrence County Health Dept., June 22, 2020) The Lawrence County Health Department is reporting 8 new cases of COVID-19. This brings our total to 18 cases (7 resolved and 11 active). Three cases were acquired from workplaces with a current outbreak. Four are still under investigation to determine the origin. And one is a family member of a positive case. The Lawrence County Health Department is working diligently to notify all close contacts.

We want the public to remember that COVID is still actively circulating and our county is not immune. Most people who get COVID-19 will only have mild symptoms; however, there are some members of our community who are at a higher risk of getting very sick. We must each do our part to protect them, ourselves, our loved ones and the rest of our community by practicing the following:

  • Clean your hands often, either with soap and water for 20 seconds or a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Stay at home as much as possible.

  • Put distance between yourself and other people (at least 6 feet).

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces daily.

 

For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website at bit.ly/about-COVID or call the Missouri COVID-19 public information hotline at 1-877-435-8411.

Three active, seven resolved COVID-19 cases now in county

 

(Lawrence County Health Dept., June 18, 2020) The Lawrence County Health Department is reporting 2 new cases of COVID-19. This brings our total to 10 cases (7 resolved and 3 active). One case is an additional exposure at a work place in Jasper County. The case has not travelled any place besides home and work during the infectious period so the public is not considered to be at risk. Case 2 has already been in quarantine related to travel in another part of the state and being a close contact of a positive case. The second case does not report any public exposure during the infectious period. All of the cases and their families/close contacts are quarantined at this time and will be monitored daily by the Lawrence County Health Department.


We want the public to remember that COVID is still actively circulating and our county is not immune. Most people who get COVID-19 will only have mild symptoms; however, there are some members of our community who are at a higher risk of getting very sick. We must each do our part to protect them, ourselves, our loved ones and the rest of our community by practicing the following:

• Clean your hands often, either with soap and water for 20 seconds or a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
• Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
• Stay at home as much as possible.
• Put distance between yourself and other people (at least 6 feet).
• Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.
• Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces daily.

For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website at bit.ly/about-COVID or call the Missouri COVID-19 public information hotline at 1-877-435-8411.

Lawrence countian working in Jasper County tests positive

 

(Lawrence County Health Dept., June 16, 2020)

The Lawrence County Health Department is reporting 1 (one) new case of COVID-19.  This case is a result of an exposure at a work place in Jasper County.  The case has not travelled any  place besides home and work during the infectious period so the public is not considered to be at risk.

We want the public to remember that COVID is still actively circulating and our county is not immune. Most people who get COVID-19 will only have mild symptoms; however, there are some members of our community who are at a higher risk of getting very sick. We must each do our part to protect them, ourselves, our loved ones and the rest of our community by practicing the following:

  • Clean your hands often, either with soap and water for 20 seconds or a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.

  • Stay at home as much as possible.

  • Put distance between yourself and other people (at least 6 feet).

  • Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others.

  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.

  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces daily.

 

For more information about COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website at bit.ly/about-COVID or call the Missouri COVID-19 public information hotline at 1-877-435-8411.

Lawrence County fully reopens with State of Mo. June 16

 

The Governor announced starting Tuesday, June 16th the state will fully reopen. With that being said, Lawrence County will not be issuing any stricter guidance.

 

However, we want to make it very clear that we are not completely out of the woods. The virus is still circulating and as you may have noticed there has been an uptick in cases in some surrounding counties.

 

Since there is better access to testing and quicker turnaround for results it makes contract tracing more efficient. It allows disease investigators to quickly make contact with those who have increased risk to infection and stop potential spread.

Some people get very sick from contracting the virus and some don't. So, it is still so very important to continue taking all the precautions listed in the graphic so we can reduce sickness and death and avoid a large enough spike in cases that would put stress on our hospitals, where the sickest would go for life saving treatment.

PLEASE stay home if you don't feel well and by all means seek testing if you suspect you have the virus. Symptoms to look for are:

Fever or chills
Cough
Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
Fatigue
Muscle or body aches
Headache
New loss of taste or smell
Sore throat
Congestion or runny nose
Nausea or vomiting
Diarrhea

To be referred for testing, call your primary care doctor, the Barry County Health Department (417) 847-2114, or utilize the CoxHealth or Mercy virtual visits. Links to virtual visits can be found here http://www.lawrencecohealth.com/coronavirus/

All 7 of county's Covid-19 cases now considered recovered

 

(Lawrence County Health Dept., June 2, 2020) The Lawrence County Health Department is pleased to announce that all seven cases of Covid-19 in the county are considered recovered (recovery is measured by two negative tests at least 24 hours apart after 14 days of isolation and no symptoms). We would also like to note that further testing of staff and residents at the facility produced no additional positive cases.

Although all seven cases have recovered, it is important to note that the number of cases for our county will still remain at seven. In order to keep track of overall positive cases, recovered cases are not subtracted from the original number.

We would like to take this opportunity to stress the importance of staying vigilant with prevention efforts such as hand washing, social distancing, wearing a mask in settings where social distancing cannot be practiced and the avoidance of large gatherings where prevention efforts are not being adhered to. Coronavirus has proven over and over to be a disease that knows no boundaries; it is still actively circulating and can cause serious illness in even the healthiest of individuals.

Applications accepted from public entities, nonprofits
in county's first round of Coronavirus Relief Fund distributions

 

(Lawrence County Commission, June 1, 2020) Lawrence County will be focusing on immediate public health needs in the first round of spending from $4.49 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds allocated to the county. The money is earmarked by the U.S. Department of Treasury for “necessary costs” associated with the Coronavirus outbreak.

County commissioners have been working with their attorney to set up a system to ensure the “highest and best use” of the one-time emergency funds through direct spending, reimbursements and grants.  Making sure all the i’s are dotted and t’s crossed is imperative since funds spent incorrectly must be refunded to the Federal government.

The commission is rolling out the first phase this week, offering reimbursements for immediate COVID-related expenses of cities, school districts and other public entities, as well as nonprofits. The second phase is expected to include grants for projects tied to the health emergency.  

Application forms are can be downloaded here. They also are available at the county clerk’s office at the Historic Courthouse and by mail (1 Courthouse Square, Suite 101, Mt. Vernon, MO 65712).

Deadline is June 26 for Phase 1 applications and supporting documentation. Phase 1 awards will be announced on or before July 31.

Funds cannot be used for revenue replacement; expenses that were budgeted; or those that do not fit the criteria. They must be for expenses incurred March 1 through Dec. 30, 2020.

More information is available on the application form and the background below. (Form revised 6-4-20 to fix a glitch.) Guidance from the U.S. Department of Treasury can be found at the Missouri State Treasurer's COVID resource page. Questions can be directed to the county commission at 466-3666.

Background and details:

On March 27th, 2020, Congress passed, and President Trump signed into law the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”).  The CARES Act established the Coronavirus Relief Fund and appropriated $150 billion to the Coronavirus Relief Fund.  Under the CARES Act, the funds are to be used to make payments for specified uses based on the requirements of the CARES Act requirements and United States Department of Treasury guidance.  Generally, the CARES Act provides that payments may only be used to cover costs that: (1) are necessary expenditures incurred due to the public health emergency with respect to COVID-19; (2) were not accounted for in the budget most recently approved as of March 27, 2020 for the government; and (3) were incurred during the period that begins on March 1, 2020 and ends on December 30, 2020.

Expenditures must be used for actions taken to respond to the public health emergency.  Funds may not be used to fill shortfalls in government revenue to cover expenditures that would not otherwise qualify under the CARES Act.  Expenditures using CARES Act fund payments must be reasonably necessary.  For further information, please refer to the guidance issued by Treasury on April 22, 2020, and May 4, 2020.

On April 28, 2020, Lawrence County received information and guidance from the office of the Missouri State Treasurer regarding the distribution of CARES Act funds from the State of Missouri to Lawrence County.  After approving and returning a certification for payment to the State of Missouri, on May 6 Lawrence County received $4,999,807.

Process - Over the course of the past three weeks, Lawrence County has reviewed the requirements of the CARES Act and the guidance issued by the Department of Treasury and has been working to identify community priorities and develop an application process to allow applicants to request CARES Act funds and make award decisions for the use of funds.

Application - The County is making an application available to request CARES Act funds.  Initially, for the first round of funding, local governments and non-profits will be eligible to submit an application. Applications for the first round of funding must be based on requests for reimbursement of eligible expenses or costs already incurred during the period March 1 through May 31, 2020 and must satisfy the requirements of the CARES Act and Treasury guidance.  Applicants will be required to submit sufficient supporting documentation such as invoices, receipts, and proof of payment.

Applications for the first round of funding are due no later than Friday, June 26, 2020.  The County will then review and evaluate the applications for completeness (including supporting documentation), compliance with the CARES Act requirements and Treasury guidance, and anticipates making award decisions no later than July 31.

 

Award recipients will be required to enter into a written agreement with the County prior to disbursement of awarded funds.

The application is available at the County Clerk’s office, County Commission office and County website.  Questions regarding the application process may be directed to the Lawrence County Commission, 417-466-3666.

Depending upon the number of applications received and amount of funds awarded in the first round of funding, the County anticipates potential additional rounds of funding.

 

Virus is still circulating, so use caution as we reopen

 

(Lawrence County Health Dept., May 4, 2020)  As today is the first day of "re-opening" PLEASE REMEMBER:

• The coronavirus is STILL circulating, it isn’t gone.

• Even though business/restaurants are back in business does NOT mean life is completely back to normal. Certain guidelines still have to be followed by businesses and patrons to minimize risk and spread.

• It is YOUR responsibility to continue social distancing (6ft) and to avoid or leave gatherings or situations in which social distancing and precautions are not being followed.

• Continue to practice good hygiene, including:

o Washing hands with soap and water, or using hand sanitizer, especially after touching frequently used items or surfaces;
o Avoiding touching your face;
o Sneezing or coughing into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow; and
o Disinfecting frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.

• Minimize travel to the extent possible.

What about Masks?

A key transmission route of COVID-19 is via droplets that fly out of our mouths—that includes when we speak, not just when we cough or sneeze. Therefore, wearing a mask when out in public, especially when social distancing is difficult, can help protect others from YOU, the wearer. Only put on and remove the mask with the ear loops. Never touch the front of the mask.

If we can ALL do our part to do things the safe and correct way, we will be able to continue to make progress in fighting this virus and work towards getting back to “normal” again.

Six more positive tests in same long term care facility in county

 

(Lawrence County Health Dept. news release, May 7, 2020)  The Lawrence County Health Department is announcing 6 additional laboratory confirmed cases of COVID-19.

The six individuals who tested positive are residents of the same long term care facility as the first case. All residents at the facility have been tested and three of those results are still pending. In addition, all staff at the facility are undergoing testing, and results are pending. The Lawrence County Health Department has been working closely with the facility administrator and will be monitoring the positive cases and their close contacts.

Lawrence County Health Department is mandated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to protect health information about cases that arise in our county. Information we are allowed to release is very limited.

The Health Department urges anyone who develops a fever, chills, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, loss of taste or smell, headache, or muscle pain to stay home and CALL your heath care provider, or use CoxHealth or Mercy virtual visits to get referred for testing. Links to virtual visits can be found on our website www.lawrencecohealthcom

County has first lab-confirmed COVID-19 case

 

(Lawrence County Health Dept. news release, May 2, 2020)  The Lawrence County Health Department is announcing Lawrence County’s first laboratory confirmed case of COVID-19.

The individual who tested positive is a resident of a long term care facility and was not exhibiting COVID 19 specific symptoms at the time of testing. The facility is taking necessary measures to control the virus including testing and isolation. Close contacts have been notified.

 

The Lawrence County Health Department will be monitoring the positive case and their close contacts.

The Lawrence County Health Department is mandated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to protect health information about cases that arise in our county. Information we are allowed to release is very limited.

County following Governor's Show-Me Strong Recovery Plan

 

(Lawrence County Health Dept., April 29, 2020) The Lawrence County Commission and Lawrence County Health Department have made the joint decision to follow the Governors Show-Me Strong Recovery Plan starting May 4th. Phase I of the plan will remain in effect until May 31, 2020 unless extended further.

The details of the state’s plan can be found at https://showmestrong.mo.gov/ or on the health department’s website www.lawrencecohealth.com.

The Show Me Strong Recovery Plan requires citizens to maintain six feet of social distancing space in most cases. There are certain situations that require additional procedures to protect businesses, communities, and citizens. Refer to the Health Order for more details.

Citizens who feel sick should stay home!

Avoid socializing in groups that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing (receptions, trade shows, etc.).

When in public (parks, outdoor recreation spaces, shopping malls, etc.), individuals should maximize physical distance from others.

Continue to practice good hygiene, including:

• Washing hands with soap and water, or using hand sanitizer, especially after touching frequently used items or surfaces;
• Avoiding touching your face;
• Sneezing or coughing into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow; and
• Disinfecting frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.

Minimize travel to the extent possible.

Elderly or otherwise vulnerable populations should take enhanced precautionary measures to mitigate the risks of contracting COVID-19.

Individuals may go to and from a place of worship, provided that limitations on social distancing are properly adhered to.

The health department will reach out to provide guidance to as many restaurants, bars, retail establishments, grocery stores, conveniences stores, hair salons, barber shops, parks, etc. as possible.

Citizens will also need to make informed, personal choices about whether to participate in activities such as organized recreation (including sports teams), to shop, worship, etc.

You are welcome to call our office with questions at 417-466-2201, but please read through the entire detailed plan as well as the “frequently asked questions” to see if your questions can be answered there.

Keep in mind, this is the plan that Lawrence County chooses to adopt. Surrounding counties may choose to add stricter guidelines so be cautious when traveling.

175th celebration to be rescheduled

 

Lawrence County's 175th celebration event will be rescheduled. It was originally set April 9.

Road, bridge sales tax up for retention in June 2 election

 

The longstanding road and bridge sales tax in Lawrence County will be up for renewal on the June 2, 2020, ballot. Voters first approved the sales tax in 1984, and have voted in favor of renewing it each of the five times it has come up for renewal. This time it will be presented without an expiration date. The sales tax supports the 15 road districts in the county.

County clerk outlines 2020 election information

Lawrence County Clerk Tammy Riebe has announced election information for 2020:

  • PRESIDENTIAL PREFERENCE PRIMARY - MARCH 10

Register to vote before Feb. 12. Absentee voting: Jan. 28-March 9.

  • GENERAL MUNICIPAL ELECTION - April 7 (Rescheduled to June 2)

Register to vote before March 11. New deadlines for absentee voting: By mail until March 27; in person until June 1.

  • PRIMARY ELECTION - AUG. 4

Register to vote before July 8. Absentee voting June 23-Aug. 3

  • PRESIDENTIAL GENERAL ELECTION - Nov. 3

Register to vote before Oct. 7. Absentee voting Sept. 22-Nov. 2

 
Budget hearing Jan. 18
 

JAN. 2017 NEWS RELEASE FROM COUNTY CLERK GARY EMERSON

A public hearing will be held by the Lawrence County Commission on Wednesday, January 18, 2017, at 10 a.m. in the courtroom of the Historic Courthouse in Mt. Vernon, Missouri, on the proposed 2017 Lawrence County budget.

All documents are available for inspection in the office of Gary Emerson, County Clerk and Budget Officer of Lawrence County.

 
Monitoring system should save money  
 

JULY 2016 NEWS RELEASE FROM LAWRENCE COUNTY COMMISSION

Lawrence County commissioners signed an agreement Wednesday, July 27, 2016, that should help cut jail numbers and substantially reduce the cost of housing inmates in other counties.

The agreement with LBS Monitoring, a Lawrence County company, provides for 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week electronic monitoring of inmates approved for the program through the court system.

The numbers are dramatic. Initially, the prosecutor’s office estimated the program could be used for 24 people who might otherwise sit in jail while awaiting a court date or serving a jail sentence for a minor offense. That would enable the county to bring home 18 inmates county taxpayers are currently paying to house in Vernon County because of overcrowding at the Lawrence County Jail.    READ MORE >

Lawrence County launches central web site

JULY 2016 NEWS RELEASE

 

Lawrence County has a new central web site, lawrencecountymo.org.

 

Visitors will find information on elections, paying taxes, road districts and general county information, among other topics.  READ MORE >

Better bridges in Lawrence County   Released 5-26-16

 

UPDATE: Lawrence County Commission voted June 1, 2016, to accept the low bid of $619,750 from Hartman Construction for the next BRO bridge replacement project. Another contractor bid $809,358.

 

MAY 26, 2016 NEWS RELEASE

 

Lawrence County is making progress in its efforts to improve bridges across the county. The latest Missouri Department of Transportation inspection reveals that locally maintained bridges have improved “considerably” overall, according to Presiding Commissioner Sam Goodman.

 

Thirty-nine of the 126 bridges MoDOT inspected were placed on its deficiencies list, but none were rated lower than 4 on a scale of 1 to 10 (1 being the worst). Those bridges with worse deficiencies have all been rehabilitated or replaced over the years. (MoDOT only inspects bridges with openings of 20 feet or greater.)