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The COVID-19 Pandemic: One year later

A look back at the last 12 months in Pettis County

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February

 

28 - The first gathering of Pettis County leadership to prepare for the arrival of COVID-19.

 

March 

2 - The first press release was prepared asking people to get ready to stay at home for a minimum of 14 days. At the time, face coverings were not recommended but social distancing, handwashing and cleaning were the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

           

5 - Pettis County Health Center meets with plant managers organized by Economic Development Sedalia-Pettis County.

 

7 - Gov. Mike Parson announces the first case of COVID-19 in Missouri.

 

11 - PCHC provides first briefing on COVID for law enforcement, fire departments, faith leaders and higher education.

 

13 - President Donald Trump declares a State of Emergency due to COVID-19.

 

13 - Parson declares a State of Emergency due to COVID-19.

 

13 - PCHC provides briefing on COVID-19 for health care providers, EMS and long-term care facilities.

 

13 - Sedalia School District 200 closes for spring break and does not return to in-person school for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. Other county and private schools hold last day of classes during the next week.

 

16 - Pettis County COVID-19 Task Force begins weekly meetings, which have continued every week.

Members of the Missouri National Guard prepare to administer a free COVID-19 test to a person in June 2020 on the Missouri State Fairgrounds. Testing was done from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. inside the Swine Pavilion.
Members of the Missouri National Guard prepare to administer a free COVID-19 test to a person in June 2020 on the Missouri State Fairgrounds. Testing …

16 - Health care coordination meetings convened by Bothwell Regional Health Center begin and have continued on a regular basis.

 

17 - Pettis County Commission declares a State of Emergency due to COVID-19.

 

17 - PCHC sends out first guidance to food establishments on how to safely serve customers based on CDC guidance.

 

17 - Weekly conference calls with major employers sponsored by Economic Development begin and have continued weekly.

 

18 - PCHC provides briefing on COVID-19 for school personnel.

 

18 - Joint “Dear County” letter issued by Pettis County Presiding Commissioner, Mayor of Sedalia and PCHC Administrator asking people to follow the guidance from Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services: stay home if exposed or ill, asking all events of 50 people or more be canceled and for restaurants and bars to limit number of patrons to 50 or less.

 

21 - DHSS issues order providing for limitations on activities for Missouri residents and requires local public health officials to carry out and enforce the provisions of the Order by means of civil proceeding. Visitation in long-term care, nursing homes, retirement homes or assisted living facilities is not permitted.

 

23 - DHSS and PCHC order go into effect. Schools are to remain closed.

A sign posted on the doors of State Fair Community College in March 2020 talks about the closing of the College due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
A sign posted on the doors of State Fair Community College in March 2020 talks about the closing of the College due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

23 - PCHC sends out guidance to food establishments further explaining the DHSS order of March 21.

 

25 - First Task Force update issued. Over the year there have been 66 updates issued.

 

26 - First positive case of COVID-19 is confirmed in a Pettis County resident.

 

30 - Regular meetings with school superintendents and State Fair Community College begin.

 

31 - Sedalia Mayor John Kehde issues Civil Emergency Order.

 

Total cases: 2

Positivity rate: 2.38%

 

April

 

3 - DHSS issues a stay at home order closing in-person dining, requiring schools to remain closed, requires 6 feet social distancing, defines essential businesses that are allowed to operate, limits the capacity of retail spaces, limits social gathering to 10 people and prohibits visiting nursing homes and similar facilities. “Pursuant to section 192.290 RsMo, this Order shall be observed throughout the state and enforced by all local and state health authorities; provided however nothing herein shall limit the right of local authorities to make such further ordinances, rules, regulations and orders no inconsistent with the Order which may be necessary for the particular locality under the jurisdiction of such local authorities. Local public health authorities are hereby directed to carry out and enforce the provisions of this Order by any legal means. Effective 12:01 a.m. Monday, April 6, 2020, and shall remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. Friday, April 24, 2020, unless extended by further order of the Director of the DHSS.”

 

3 - CDC issues guidance recommending mask wearing for all people over the age of 2.

 

4 - Weekly videos from Pettis County Presiding Commissioner David Dick begin.

 

6 - PCHC issues a public health order to enforce the state order.

 

9 - Parson closes all schools through the end of the 2020 school year.

 

20 - Daily case counts start being posted on PCHC’s Facebook page.

 

22 - PCHC participates in Facebook Live education program with Bothwell.

 

24 - Parson extends State of Emergency order 20-09. PCHC order issued to support continued State of Emergency from April 25 through May 3.

 

27 - DHSS issues an order effective May 4, 2020, requiring continued social distancing, limiting the number of individuals in a retail space, requiring additional precautions for those businesses that require individuals to be closer than 6 feet and allowed in-person dining to resume as long as spacing of 6 feet is maintained between dinners, no communal dining and limit of 10 people per table. The order is in effect until May 31, 2020.

 

28 - PCHC distributes information to beauty salons/barber shops to develop a plan for safe re-opening in accordance with the direction from DHSS.

 

29 - PCHC distributes information to restaurants indicating the need to provide plans for safe re-opening. In-person dining is projected to resume on May 18.

 

30 - Parson issues Show Me Strong Recovery Plan Phase I.

Outreach begins to Amish community. 

 

Bothwell cares for two COVID patients. 

Total cases: 43

Positivity rate: 7.03%

 

May

 

A community campaign begins to provide masks for all Pettis County residents who need one and all children in Pettis County schools by the United Way of Pettis County, Bothwell, Katy Trail Community Health, community members and PCHC.

Members of Open Door Food Pantry place boxes of food into a client's vehicle in April 2020. Due to the pandemic, many people began to lose their jobs. Open Door stepped in to bridge the gap and help feed those in need.
Members of Open Door Food Pantry place boxes of food into a client's vehicle in April 2020. Due to the pandemic, many people began to lose their …
 

Sedalia Parks and Recreation release plan for summer activities including opening of swimming pools and youth sports. Youth sports tournaments occur with social distancing and other safety precautions.

 

Bothwell begins drive-up COVID testing at the Bothwell Walk In Clinic parking lot.

 

2 - Pettis County is experiencing an increase in cases. PCHC issues a public health order directing beauty salons/barbershops and restaurants to submit a plan for re-opening shops and in-person dining.

 

6 - Beauty salons and barbershops are allowed to reopen with safety measures in place to protect clients and staff.

 

10 - First death of a Pettis County resident is recorded.

 

18 - In-person dining resumes in Pettis County after plans for re-opening within the parameters of the DHSS state public health order.

 

22 - Pettis County Commissioners open applications for CARES Act funding.

 

29 - PCHC issues a public health update following the state public health order which is effective from June 1 to June 15 at midnight. Local public health agencies are required to continue to enforce the parameters of the order. 

 

Bothwell cares for one COVID patient. 

Total cases: 34

Positivity rate: 3.02%

 

June

 

5: Final video from Presiding Commissioner.

 

15 - Community COVID testing event conducted by the Missouri National Guard conducted at Missouri State Fairgrounds.

 

16 - All restrictions on occupancy are lifted by DHSS. PCHC follows the state guidance.

 

17 - Online threats against the PCHC increase, even though all limitations on occupancy have been lifted.

Planning begins on how to address issues associated with the Missouri State Fair. 

 

Bothwell cares for one COVID patient.

Total cases: 49

Positivity rate: 2.07%

 

July

 

Threats of violence against PCHC escalate requiring assistance from the Sedalia Police Department.

 

17 - Parson cancels Missouri State Fair and changes event to a Youth Livestock Show.

  

22 - Remainder of girls softball league games canceled due to positive COVID tests.

 

26 - The White House Coronavirus Task Force issues a report indicating Sedalia, Pettis County and Missouri are in the red category. The guidance includes mandatory mask-wearing, limiting gatherings to groups of 10 or less, closing bars and gyms, only permitting outdoor in-person dining, and all businesses and retailers are to require masks and social distancing. St. Louis, Kansas City, Columbia and most major cities are in the yellow category.

 

30 - PCHC Board of Trustees attempts to provide update to the community via Zoom regarding issues related to mask-wearing. The number of people in the lobby of the building makes communication difficult.  

 

30 - PCHC Board of Trustees conducts a special Board meeting to discuss a face covering rule.   The gathering of people in the lobby did not allow the meeting to proceed. Due to the large crowd, largely not wearing masks and becoming unruly, the Board voted to conduct another meeting in a larger venue.

 

Bothwell cares for 18 COVID-positive patients. 

Total cases: 307

Positivity rate: 9.40%

 

August

 

PCHC closed to the public for several days due to threats of violence.

Jaylynne Labus, left, a medical assistant at Bothwell Regional Health Center, and Kelsey Capelton, LPN, talk with a man needing COVID-19 testing Dec. 1, 2020. BRHC conducted COVID testing this winter six days a week on the Missouri State Fairgrounds.
Jaylynne Labus, left, a medical assistant at Bothwell Regional Health Center, and Kelsey Capelton, LPN, talk with a man needing COVID-19 testing Dec. …

5 - Special meeting of the PCHC Board of Trustees is hosted at Convention Hall and live-streamed on Facebook. After the conclusion of one hour of public comment, the Board voted to approve the face covering rule 2-0-1. One member was not present. As there was no tie, the Board Chair did not vote.

 

7 - Pettis County face covering rule goes into effect.

 

7 - Lawsuit filed against the PCHC and Pettis County by Stanley Cox for eight plaintiffs — Max “Rusty” Kahrs, David Goodson, Heather Slagel, Sarah Reynolds, Craig Guffin, Wendy Walker, Brain Smith and Robert Hayden — harmed by the face covering rule due to the threat of prosecution for failure to comply.       

 

13-23 - Missouri State Fair is a Youth Livestock Show.

 

25-27  -Green Ridge, La Monte Smithton, Dresden and Northwest school districts open for in-person learning.

 

Bothwell cares for 19 COVID patients. 

Total cases: 350

Positivity rate: 10.19%

 

September

 

1 - PCHC is granted a change of venue in the lawsuit to Cass County.

 

1 - Sedalia 200 opens for in-person learning.

 

23 - Gov. Parson and first lady Teresa Parson report positive COVID test. Not seriously ill, recovering at home. 

Sacred Heart, St. Paul, Applewood schools open for in-person learning.

PCHC staff provides influenza vaccine in Center as well as going into the community to local businesses.

 

Bothwell cares for 30 COVID-positive patients. 

Total cases: 411

Positivity rate: 9.49%

   

October

 

Case counts continue to increase. PCHC hires additional temporary staff to assist with case investigation and contact tracing.

 

2 - President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump report positive COVID test.

 

11 - DHSS releases Interagency Vaccination Plan.

 

22 - Pettis County Commission releases list of recipients of $4,971,553.87 in CARES funding.  Sedalia Democrat publishes list of recipients and the amount received.

 

29 - Antigen testing offered to schools for onsite testing of symptomatic students and staff.

 

Bothwell cares for 65 COVID patients. 

Total cases: 651

Positivity rate: 23.15%

 

November

 

All members of the Pettis County Health Center are working on case investigation, contact tracing or answering questions.

  

1-7 - Highest weekly case count – 447.

 

6 - Lawsuit is dropped by plaintiffs without explanation to the court. No formal depositions were filed. The cost to the Pettis County taxpayers in legal fees for the lawsuit and Sunshine Law requests was $51,955.62.

 

10 - Pettis County has the highest rate of new cases in the state.

 

15 - Highest daily reported cases – 93. 

 

Bothwell cares for 101 COVID patients.

Total cases: 1,389

Positivity rate: 35.45%

 

 

December

 

DHSS outlines Phases and Tiers for vaccine distribution. Phase 1A for long-term care residents and frontline health care providers opens.

 

1 - Bothwell Regional Health Center moves drive-up testing from Bothwell Walk In testing clinic to Sheep Pavilion at Missouri State Fairgrounds to protect staff.

 

18 - First COVID-19 vaccine administered in Pettis County. Bothwell Regional Health Center serves as vaccination site for eligible individuals.

Sarah Wuellner, RN, of the Infection Control Department at Bothwell Regional Health Center, gives Dr. Assad Shaffiey, of Bothwell TLC Pediatrics, one of the first COVID-19 vaccines in Sedalia on Dec. 18, 2020, at Bothwell.
Sarah Wuellner, RN, of the Infection Control Department at Bothwell Regional Health Center, gives Dr. Assad Shaffiey, of Bothwell TLC Pediatrics, one …

Bothwell cares for 77 COVID patients. 

Total cases: 904

Positivity rate: 21.97%

 

January

 

14 - DHSS order opens vaccine Phase 1B Tier 1 and 2.

 

28 - Community vaccine sites open at MO-Ag Theater on the fairgrounds provided by Bothwell and PCHC with assistance from Missouri National Guard. Katy Trail Community Health has been providing vaccination for high-risk persons and eligible individuals.

Sarah Wuellner, RN, of the Infection Control Department at Bothwell Regional Health Center, walks through the rows of seated citizens who are waiting in the observation area after receiving their vaccine Jan. 28 in the MO-Ag Theatre on the Missouri State Fairgrounds during a mass vaccination event. Everyone was required to wait 15 minutes before leaving.
Sarah Wuellner, RN, of the Infection Control Department at Bothwell Regional Health Center, walks through the rows of seated citizens who are waiting …

Bothwell cares for 45 COVID patients. 

Total cases: 523

Positivity rate: 20.89%

 

February

 

Vaccinations continue in a variety of community locations – MO-Ag Theater, PCHC, KTCH, AFC Urgent Care, local pharmacies. All vaccines are by appointment.

 

15-21  Bitter cold temperatures, ice and snow cause vaccine clinics to be re-scheduled. Assistance from the Missouri National Guard is suspended. Drive-thru testing at the Sheep Pavilion is suspended.

 

Total cases: 172

Positivity rate: 9.38%  

  

March

 

Sources of vaccine expand to include Woods Pharmacy, Swords Pharmacy, Plaza West Pharmacy, CVS, Walmart. Vaccine clinics continue through Bothwell, PCHC, and KTCH.

Nicole Porter, RN, of Bothwell Regional Health Center, administers a COVID-19 vaccine to Sandy Fracchia, of Sedalia, on Jan. 28 at the MO-AG Theatre on the Missouri State Fairgrounds during a mass vaccination event. “I get the flu shot every year and I figured I’d get this too,” Fracchia said. “I have people to see and a life to live again.”
Nicole Porter, RN, of Bothwell Regional Health Center, administers a COVID-19 vaccine to Sandy Fracchia, of Sedalia, on Jan. 28 at the MO-AG Theatre …

1 - Cases continue to decline. Non-household contacts quarantine relaxed to 10 days. Bothwell visitor policy changes.

 

15 - DHSS opens Phase 1B Tier 3 including teachers, child care providers, agriculture workers and other essential workers.

 

15 - PCHC begins vaccination for teachers and other groups at the employer location.

 

18 - Parson announces Phase 2 will open on March 29 and Phase 3 on April 9, allowing all Missouri residents to be vaccinated.

 

26 - Pettis County marks the anniversary of the first positive case in Pettis County.

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