Frequently asked questions about stay-at-home order

Monday, April 6, 2020

We have received several calls regarding the Stay At Home Ordinance that the City of Sikeston adopted yesterday went into effect this morning. Hopefully the information below will answer some of these questions.

Q: When does the order become effective, and when does it expire?

A: The order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. April 4 and expires only when the City Council acts to revoke it.

Q: Who does the order apply to?

A: The order applies to anyone living in or visiting Sikeston (no matter whether they are in the Scott County or New Madrid County portion of Sikeston).

Q: How can I determine if my business or employer is “essential?”

A: Essential businesses include those businesses and business activities included in the Department of Homeland Security’s “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce” advisory located at:…/CISA_Guidance_on_the_Essential_Criti…

Q: Do we need something in writing from our employer in case we are stopped?

A: At this time, Sikeston DPS does not plan to pull anyone over and demand evidence that they are traveling to an essential activity or employer. However, if you are concerned about that happening in another jurisdiction, some employers have been issuing letters to their employees to identify them as essential employers/employees. The Missouri Department of Agriculture has prepared a sample template for such a letter for agriculture workers, which could be adapted for other essential businesses:…/critical-infrastructure-worker…. The City will not be issuing such letters on behalf of employers.

Q: Is there a curfew?

A: No. There is no indication that the virus is more or less contagious at different times of day, therefore curfews are not effective means of avoiding the virus.

Q: What can I do in the parks?

A: You can walk, bike, fish, throw a ball or frisbee with a family member, walk your dog, or engage in other activities that allow proper social distancing. You cannot play sports that cause gatherings over 10 people or that don’t allow you to observe proper social distancing. Playgrounds, picnic shelters, the dog park, basketball courts, tennis courts, and other park facilities are closed, where people gather in groups or use shared equipment.

Q: How does the order apply to childcare providers?

A: Childcare facilities providing services that enable essential employees to work can remain open, but the order contains some guidelines to help providers limit possible exposure to the virus.

Q: Can I go for a walk or bike ride in my neighborhood? What about in a city park? Can kids and/or adults go on a bike ride together with others if they observe social distancing?

A: Outdoor activities are allowed as long as social distancing guidelines are followed and groups are not larger than 10 people. Remember, the more you can avoid sharing germs between families the better.

Q: Does the order apply to churches? Can a church meet if now more than 10 people attend and proper social distancing is in place?

A: All religious gatherings or meetings, including churches and church services must be limited by the Social Distancing Requirements (no more than 10 people and maintaining 6 foot distance).

Q: Can I go grocery shopping?

A: Yes, shopping for groceries, medications, household goods and other necessary products is allowed. Proper social distancing should be practiced when shopping, and bringing unnecessary additional people with you is discouraged.

Q: Can I go to the hardware store?

A: Hardware stores are considered essential businesses because they offer products that are used for other essential activities and businesses, including construction and maintenance of properties in safe conditions.

Q: Is lawn care an essential job or activity?

A: Yes, lawn care is an essential job and activity for maintaining properties in safe and sanitary conditions. Workers should still observe social distancing guidelines while doing this work.

Q: Who should I call if I have a question about the order?

A: Do not call 911 to report violations of the stay at home order. Only call 911 for true emergencies. If you have health care questions call your medical provider. The city has set up a hotline for reporting COVID-19 related concerns or questions at (573) 703-6011.

Q: Can the school district still provide drop offs or pick ups for food or other educational supplies?

A: Yes, those activities are allowed under the order. Participants are encouraged to follow social distancing guidelines.

Q: Do we have a COVID-19 testing site in Sikeston?

A: Please contact your health care provider for information on testing or personal medical questions.

Q: Are barbers/beauty shops/salons allowed to operate?

A: Those businesses are not listed on the Department of Homeland Security’s “Essential Critical Infrastructure Worker” List.

Q: Can I go on a drive with my family just to get out of the house?

A: Yes, but keep in mind that social gathering and social distancing guidelines apply anywhere you are out of your vehicle.

Q: Can I drive to visit other family members?

A: Yes, traveling to care for a family member, close personal acquaintance or pet in another household is permitted.

Q: Are the police going to arrest people for violating the order?

A: Citations will be issued when necessary. Violations of the order are a class A misdemeanor, and citations will be forwarded to the prosecuting attorney to press charges.

Q: Will someone say something if your family or a small group (less than 10) are outside in your front yard but properly social distancing?

A: Probably not, unless there appears to be a violation of the gathering size or social distancing.

Q: Can you continue to play golf if you use your own golf cart?

A: Yes, if the property owner permits that and social distancing requirements are met. The use of shared equipment, such as rented golf carts, is not allowed.

Q: If I share custody of a child, can I drive to meet up with the other parent for drop offs and pick ups?

A: Yes.

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