Greene County Commission imposes 30-day stay-at-home order

With the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continuing to rapidly increase, the Greene County Commission has imposed a mandatory stay-at-home order for all Greene County residents. The order requires “all non-essential activities, businesses and operations to cease within the county,” with certain exceptions, and gives the Springfield-Greene County Health Department the authority to create regulations “as is necessary and appropriate” to carry out the order.

Provisions of the order:
The order took effect on Thursday, March 26, and will remain in effect for 30 days, “unless renewed or withdrawn.” It does not apply within cities which have already issued their own stay-at-home orders.
According to Exhibit A of the order, individuals residing in Greene County may leave their homes only to perform “essential activities,” or to “provide any services or perform any work necessary to the operations and maintenance of Essential Business, Minimum Basic Operations, or other enumerated exempted categories” as prescribed under the order or prevailing law. People who work for or support essential businesses are exempted from the order, though anyone who is at a high risk for contracting COVID-19 is encouraged to remain home except as necessary “to seek medical care and to obtain provision of essential life items.”
Essential and non-essential orders:
The order also states it does not prohibit anyone from carrying out “essential government functions,” which are defined as “all services needed to ensure the continuing operation of any government agencies, including schools, and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public.”
The order requires all non-essential businesses to cease all “in-person operations,” though they may continue operations at the homes of the owners, employees and contractors. Essential businesses are required to perform their activities while employing social distancing guidelines as recommended by the CDC. Essential businesses are also restricted from performing non-essential business activities.
The order does not apply to government agencies.

Essential Activities:
Essential activities during the Stay-at-Home order are defined as:
- Activities or tasks essential to the health and safety of residents, their family members (including pets) and close personal acquaintances. (i.e. medical supplies or services, materials needed to work from home, etc.)
- The obtaining of necessary services or supplies for residents, family members, or close acquaintances. (i.e. groceries, cleaning and personal care products, etc.)
- Physical outdoor activity (i.e. running, walking, hiking, etc.), provided residents maintain physical distancing requirements.
- To work or provide services at an essential business or carry out other activities specifically mentioned in the order; and
- To care for another family member, acquaintance or pet in another household.

Essential Businesses:
Essential businesses in the order are defined as “any for-profit, non-profit or educational entity” that has a “substantial element of its daily operations” in engaged in 34 activities listed in Exhibit A, Section Three of the order. These activities include categories such as public safety, food production, communications, medical services and energy production. A full listing of the categories, along with the order in its entirety, can be seen by going online to and clicking on the link to the order provided.

Effects on schools:
As a result of the stay at home order, the Ash Grove, Republic and Willard school districts are extending their wellness break to Friday, April 24; classes are now scheduled to resume on Monday, April 27. All districts are providing food services to students during the wellness break. The Willard and Republic School Districts are also providing online learning opportunities for students, though the learning activities are voluntary. In Ash Grove, the students in sixth grade and younger were provided with additional homework packets to complete during the wellness break, while Dr. Aaron Gerla, superintendent of schools, said the 7th- through 12th-grade students would be contacted via Google Classroom for their assignments.


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