Local cases increase; counties earn low marks

Friday, April 3, 2020
Playground equipment at Malone Park sits idle Friday morning after the City of Sikeston closed all playground equipment at city parks on Thursday.
David Jenkins/Standard Democrat

SIKESTON — The number of cases in Missouri continues to increase as counties, such as Scott County, have started issuing “stay-at-home” orders.

As of Friday afternoon, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported 2,113 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 19 deaths in the state.

Locally, Cape Girardeau County has 15 cases while Scott County, Stoddard County and Dunklin County each have 7. Pemiscot County has 3 confirmed cases while New Madrid County has 1 and Mississippi County doesn’t have any confirmed cases as of Friday afternoon.

Local counties earn low marks

As officials continue to urge residents to stay at home, one tech company is grading how states and counties are abiding by social distancing guidelines. Both the state and local counties are not receiving high marks.

Unacast, a location data company, is currently providing data to governments, institutions and organizations to understand the effectiveness of social distancing and if it has improved prior to COVID-19 to now. The information is based on statistics from cellphone movement. They have developed a Social Distancing Scoreboard for each state, which is then broken down into counties, to compare communities social distancing activity and if people are abiding by the social distancing guidelines.

Missouri received a grade of D, while Scott County was graded with a D- and New Madrid County an F. Other local counties also received low grades with Cape Girardeau County getting a C, Mississippi County an F, Stoddard County a D-, Dunklin County a D- and Pemiscot County an F.

Residents are continuing to be asked to do their part to slow the spread of the coronavirus. Some things residents can do are:

• Work from home when possible.

• Stay home if sick.

• Use social distancing by using the six feet apart recommendation.

• Avoid gatherings of more than 10 people.

• Practice good hygiene.

• Use drive-thru, pickup or food delivery options.

• Avoid nonessential travel.

• Limit visiting nursing homes, hospitals and other care centers.

• Follow the directions of state and local authorities.

Hotline set up

The Sikeston Department of Public Safety has released a hotline number with an information specialist to help mitigate any calls regarding questions or concerns in reference to COVID-19 and how it will affect our community.

The number is (573) 703-6011 and will be available 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the next several days.

Amenities closed at Sikeston parks

Effective immediately, the following Sikeston park amenities are closed to the public: playgrounds, picnic areas, dog park, tennis courts and skate park.

The walking trails and open areas will remain open.

Municipal court suspended

Sikeston Municipal Court is suspended until May 1. All defendants with citations with a court date of March 26, April 9 and April 23 to contact the court at 573-475-3705 to see if the citation is payable.

Housing Authority offices closed

The Sikeston Housing Authority offices will be closed the week of April 6-10. Tenants should make all scheduled payments one time utilizing a money order and placing it in the drop box located at the Housing Authority office. Those needing to pay with a card can contact the office to schedule a time to take payment.

There will be limited office hours that will be announced later by a flyer. However, only one person will be allowed in the lobby at a time.

Tenants who are experiencing income reduction should contact the office and leave a message or provide a written statement in the drop box.

All service calls will be limited to emergency situations as determined by the maintenance staff. Those with questions can call 471-3012 and leave a message. Phone messages and emails are checked on a daily basis.

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