Sikeston unanimously OKs stay-at-home order

Friday, April 3, 2020

SIKESTON — The Sikeston City Council unanimously approved a stay-at-home order for the entire city of Sikeston Friday afternoon.

Friday morning, Scott County Commissioners approved a stay-at-home order, that took effect at 12:01 a.m. and was approved by all the cities within the County, including Sikeston.

Sikeston passed the same ordinance for the entire city since Sikeston is made up of both Scott and New Madrid County.

“This ordinance will mirror that of Scott County but will include all of Sikeston so it will be the same for all (Sikeston residents),” said Jon Douglass, Sikeston city manager.

The ordinance orders all residents of Sikeston to stay at home unless they are traveling for “essential activities,” such as traveling to work at an essential job or picking up groceries or supplies.

The ordinance prohibits gatherings over 10 people unless it part of an essential business. The ordinance does apply to religious organizations.

The ordinance is meant to reinforce what a majority of citizens are already doing, and does not prevent people from going outside or driving to work. There is also no curfew.

“Nothing about this ordinance has police pulling people over for driving down the street,” said Sikeston mayor Stephen Burch. “We are trying to keep groups from getting together and spreading this.”

Douglass added that the city doesn’t have the resources to pull over every car out on the road but that this gives them the ability to handle problem situations.

Scott County Prosecuting Attorney Amanda Oesch said that she sent emails to all police departments in Scott County and that there were not going to be any road blocks or checkpoints by police officers.

“It’s too bad we have to have a regulation like this,” said Scott County Commissioner Dennis Ziegenhorn. “It’s not to hamper people. We’re looking to keep people healthy.”

Burch asked if the Missouri governor issued a similar order if it would change anything. Oesch said that any order issued by the governor would trump any county orders and that if the governor issues an order she would release a statement as to how they are different.

Douglass encouraged all residents to not call 911 with any COVID-related questions. There is a hotline for those with questions at (573) 703-6011 and will be available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the next several days.

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