There have been no additional reported cases of COVID-19 in Pettis County for the third consecutive day, according to the Pettis County Health Center. 

The total number of confirmed cases is listed at 70. As of Thursday afternoon, there are 12 active cases in the county and 57 individuals have been released to normal activity. One individual remains hospitalized. The county has reported one death as a result of COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

The health center recently responded to a number of frequently asked questions. Here are more of their responses:

Q: When can I go back to church?

Under the County Public Health Order, churches may reopen on May 4 but with limitations.   There are restrictions on the number of people who can be in the building based on the size of the worship space and those who attend services must remain 6 feet apart. Six feet apart means a circle all around, front, sides and back. 

During a meeting with pastors, additional guidance was provided to include having members of the congregation use hand sanitizer upon entry, wear masks, having ushers seat members of the congregation and dismiss the congregation in a manner to reduce people grouping together, no common touch items such as collection baskets, hymnals, prayer books or communion trays, extra cleaning and sanitizing between services to include pews, restrooms and doors, and propping doors open during service to avoid touching the door. Singing can spread the virus as coughing and sneezing so singing should be limited. 

Continuing online or other electronic means to provide services is encouraged. Some pastors have determined that the plans in place can meet the needs of their congregation and others have determined to wait a while longer. At-risk members of the congregation should carefully consider if attending in-person services is best for them.

Q: What about funerals, weddings and other types of gatherings?

Unfortunately, funerals, wedding and parties have been the place where the virus has spread and caused serious illness and in some cases death. Any of these events require participants to be separated by 6 feet all around and the limit on the number of people allowed in a building is restricted. Again, if there are cases identified from these types of events, the organizer will be notified that a person with the virus attended the event.

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