The Dent County Health Center and local county and city officials are working together as a result of Governor Parson’s “Stay At Home Missouri” Order.

The Order went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, April 6, 2020, until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 24th, 2020. Agency leaders will continue to plan and discuss to coordinate within Salem and Dent County to help prevent and protect citizens from the spread of the COVID-19 virus, while also protecting the constitutional rights and economic interests of the community. We understand that this pandemic is difficult physically, financially and emotionally for all the citizens we serve. We ask for your continued patience in following the “Stay at Home Missouri” Order and appreciate the sacrifices our citizens are making.

Among other guidelines, the Order requires the following:

• All individuals and nonessential businesses in the state of Missouri shall avoid gatherings of more than ten (10) people and shall maintain a distance of 6 feet apart. This provision shall not apply to family members.

• All public and charter schools must remain closed for the duration of the Order.

• Nothing in this Order shall prohibit daycares, child care providers, or schools from providing child care for working families in accordance with CDC guidelines found at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/guidance-for-childcare.html

• For an essential business with a retail location less than 10,000 square feet:

A. Building Square Feet divided by 30 = Quotient

B. Quotient x .25 = Occupancy Limit

For a business with the retail location of 10,000 square feet or more:

A. Building Square Feet divided by 30 = Quotient

B. Quotient x .10 = Occupancy Limit

The Order does not prohibit Missourians from accessing essential services, such as grocery stores, gas stations, and banks, or engaging in outdoor recreation, provided that necessary precautions are taken and maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, including observing the social gathering and social distancing requirements set forth in the Order.

The full “Stay Home Missouri” Order can be viewed at: https://governor.mo.gov/priorities/stay-home-order

Pursuant to section 192.290 RSMo, this Order shall be observed throughout the state and administered by local and state health authorities.

Missouri law prohibits individuals and businesses from price gouging — raising prices on necessities during an emergency. Missouri Attorney General Schmitt and Dent County Prosecutor Andrew Curley advises consumers to watch out for and report large increases in prices, including on gas, water, food, hand sanitizer, medical masks, soap, over-the-counter medicine and other necessities. The public is asked to report any and all instances of price gouging or other COVID-19 related scams to the Missouri Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline by calling 1-800-392-8222 or by filing a complaint online at: https://ago.mo.gov/app/consumercomplaint.

A special thanks to community members who have donated their time and talent to create handmade masks. Hundreds of masks have been distributed to local healthcare providers, nursing homes, and businesses. Businesses or volunteers needing guidance on fabric mask distribution may contact the Dent County Health Center. More information on the CDC’s recommendation regarding the use of cloth face masks, as well as instructions to make a homemade mask can be found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/diy-cloth-face-coverings.html

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for first responders is being distributed as orders arrive. Additional requests are a coordinated effort between the State Emergency Management Association (SEMA) and the County Emergency Management Director.

Instances of crime will continue to be investigated and prosecuted in Dent County. The Dent County jail will continue to house inmates accused and convicted of serious crimes. Efforts are being made by Sheriff Bob Wells, Dent County Prosecutor Curley, City Prosecutor James Weber and local judges to prevent the introduction of any symptomatic inmates that have been recently incarcerated in jurisdictions with COVID confirmed cases. Criminal Court proceedings are being conducted with social distancing and additional preventative measures.

At this time, Dent County has no confirmed COVID cases. The diligence and hard work of our citizens who are “staying home” and those essential service workers that are serving our community are appreciated. Everyone is encouraged to remain diligent and practice good hygiene and social distancing and encouraged to utilize various forms of digital interaction. The more that people reduce their public contact, the sooner COVID- 19 will be contained and the sooner the Order will expire.

The City of Salem is cancelling the spring community-wide yard sale typically held the first weekend in May. Lots will not be available to rent in the city administrative offices building parking lot. Individuals conducting yard sales during the Order must observe the maximum gathering of ten (10) people and social distancing guidelines.

Dent County Presiding Commissioner Darrell Skiles, City of Salem Administrator Ray Walden, Dent County Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Curley, Salem Police Chief Joe Chase, Dent County Sheriff Bob Wells, City of Salem Mayor Brad Nash, and Dent County Health Center Administrator Kendra Mobray, RN were all part of the press release.