Scott County clarifies points of its COVID-19 order

Thursday, April 9, 2020

BENTON, Mo. — After fielding questions from residents, Scott County officials have clarified points of its recently enacted COVID-19 ordinance.

The Scott County Commission met Tuesday to discuss the Scott County COVID-19 ordinance in correlation with Gov. Mike Parson’s COVID-19 order, which he announced on April 3.

“We have received a multitude of questions regarding whether the county ordinance will remain in place now that the governor’s stay-home order has become effective,” said Scott County Prosecuting Attorney Amanda L. Oesch. “The governor and his order specifically allow for counties to enact additional restrictions and ordinances.”

The Scott County Commission has chosen to leave their COVID-19 response ordinance in place for the safety of its citizens, Oesch said.

“We enacted the ordinance to encourage the Center for Disease Control and the President’s recommendations for social distancing be taken more seriously,” Oesch said. “That hasn’t changed since the enactment of the governor’s order.”

Further, Oesch said, the governor’s order is a civil order and is to be enforced by the county health departments. The Scott County ordinance is an order with criminal enforcement capabilities, she said.

Oesch said Scott County officials want the citizens of Scott County to understand the following about the ordinance and about the enforcement of the ordinance:

— There will not be roadblocks/check points for compliance.

— This ordinance basically has enacted all of the things that a majority of citizens have already been practicing. However, it does give law enforcement the power to order people to disperse, and refusal can be punishable by a misdemeanor.

— Essential businesses and workers do not need any cards/letters of essential business designation.

“Finally, we want to remind everyone this is for the safety of Scott County citizens,” Oesch said. “We do not want to see businesses closed any longer than any of you do. We hope that social distancing is effectively paying off and we can all return to the Scott County way of life that we all know and love.”

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