Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Missouri, US, order residents to avoid leaving their homes and place restrictions on business operations April 6-24.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • St Louis, Missouri
  • Cape Girardeau, Missouri
  • Springfield, Missouri
  • Columbia-Jefferson City, Missouri
  • Joplin, Missouri
  • Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri
  • Poplar Bluff, Missouri

This alert began 04 Apr 2020 21:07 GMT and is scheduled to expire 25 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-related restrictions
  • Location(s): Missouri (map)
  • Time/Date: April 6-24
  • Impact: Significant travel, transport, and business disruptions

Summary
Health officials issued an order placing limits on business activities and requiring residents to avoid leaving their homes from 0001 April 6 until at least 2359 April 24 as part of the state's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). Under the order, nonessential businesses are allowed to remain open only if they do not bring more than ten people together in a single space and allow workers and customers to maintain at least two meters (six feet) of distance between themselves and others. Essential businesses with retail operations, such as supermarkets and pharmacies, may remain open under the order, but they must operate at no more than either 10 or 25 percent of their normal maximum capacity, depending on the size of the retail location.

Outdoor activities such as walking are permissible under the condition that people engaged in them maintain at least six feet of distance between themselves and all non-family members. The order additionally bans all social gatherings of more than ten people and requires all schools in the state to remain closed.

Significant transport and business disruptions are likely. Authorities may deploy additional security personnel to assist in enforcing the measure. Officials could amend the order at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Missouri authorities are similar to actions adopted by other governments in the US and globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
World Health Organisation (WHO): who.int

Missouri Stay-at-home Order: governor.mo.gov