Posted on Sunday March 22, 2020
Order limiting private and public gatherings to no more than ten (10) people.

Platte City, Missouri – March 22, 2020



WHEREAS, On March 19, 2020, a proclamation of a state of emergency (the “Proclamation”) was declared by Platte County Presiding Commissioner Ron Schieber to allow the Platte County, Missouri, to take measures to reduce the possibility of exposure to COVID-19 and promote the health and safety of Platte County residents, along with an accompanying order; and

WHEREAS, on March 21, 2020, Missouri Governor Mike Parsons, and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services issued an order under Missouri Statute imposing a restriction upon the number of individuals assembling in the State to further reduce the spread of COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, on March 16, 2020, President Donald J. Trump, in coordination with The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), officially recommended cessation of school operations that are near areas of community transmission, even if those areas are in neighboring states; and

WHEREAS, Superintendents for school operations in Platte County, Kansas City and surrounding metropolitan Kansas City Counties support the suspension of in-person school operations; and

WHEREAS, the COVID-19 virus spreads between people who are in close contact with one another through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes; and

WHEREAS, a gathering of individuals without necessary mitigation for the spread of infection may pose a risk of the spread of infectious disease; and

WHEREAS, the Health Department wishes to employ all means available under the law to protect public life, health, safety and property to limit the development, contraction and spread of COVID-19 creating this emergency; and

WHEREAS, as of March 16, 2020, numerous cases of COVID-19 illness, including a fatality and evidence of community transmission, have been identified in jurisdictions bordering Platte County; and

WHEREAS, I, Mary Jo Vernon, Director of the Platte County Health Department do find the aforementioned conditions constitute a threat to the health, safety, and welfare of the residents of Platte County and creates a public health emergency situation within the meaning of Mo.Rev.Stat. 192.020; 19 CSR 20-20.010; 19 CSR 20-20.090; Platte County, Missouri Ord. Chapters 230 and 240.

NOW, THEREFORE, under the power vested in me under appropriate local, state and federal laws, regulations, ordinances and other enabling provisions, I, Mary Jo Vernon, Director of Public Health for the Platte County Health Department and Health Officer for the County of Platte, under the authority delegated by the State of Missouri and Platte County, Missouri, ordinances Chapter 240.010 – 240. 090 hereby order limited isolation and other restraint on activity, comprised of the following:

Section One: Definitions and Exemptions.

a. For purposes of this Order, Social Distancing Requirements includes maintaining at least six-foot social distancing from other individuals, washing hands with soap and water for at least twenty seconds as frequently as possible or using hand sanitizer, covering coughs or sneezes (into the sleeve or elbow, not hands), regularly cleaning high-touch surfaces, and not shaking hands.

b. For purposes of this Order individuals may leave their residence only to perform any of the following “Essential Activities.”  People at high risk of severe illness from COVID-19 and people who are sick are urged to stay in their residence except as necessary to seek medical care.

i. To engage in activities or perform tasks essential to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members (including, but not limited to, pets), such as, by way of example only and without limitation, obtaining medical supplies or medication, visiting a health care professional, or obtaining supplies they need to work from home;

ii. To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members, or to deliver those services or supplies to others, such as, by way of example only and without limitation, canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products, and products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences;

iii. To engage in outdoor activity, provided the individuals comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in this Section, such as, by way of example and without limitation, walking, hiking, or running;

iv. To perform work providing essential products and services at an Essential Business or to otherwise carry out activities specifically permitted in this Order, including Minimum Basic Operations; and

v. To care for a family member or pet in another household.

c. For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence to work for or obtain services at any “Healthcare Operations” including hospitals, clinics, dentists, pharmacies, pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, other healthcare facilities, healthcare suppliers, home healthcare services providers, mental health providers, or any related and/or ancillary healthcare services. “Healthcare Operations” also includes veterinary care and all healthcare services provided to animals. This exemption shall be construed broadly to avoid any impacts to the delivery of healthcare, broadly defined. “Healthcare Operations” does not include fitness and exercise gyms and similar facilities.

d. For purposes of this Order, individuals may leave their residence to provide any services or perform any work necessary to the operations and maintenance of “Essential Infrastructure,” including, but not limited to, public works construction, construction of housing (in particular affordable housing or housing for individuals experiencing homelessness), airport operations, water, sewer, gas, electrical, oil refining, roads and highways, public transportation, solid waste collection and removal, internet, and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services), provided that they carry out those services or that work in compliance with Social Distancing Requirements as defined this Section, to the extent possible.

e. For purposes of this Order, all first responders, emergency management personnel, emergency dispatchers, court personnel, and law enforcement personnel, and others working for or to support Essential Businesses are categorically exempt from this Order. Further, nothing in this Order shall prohibit any individual from performing or accessing “Essential Governmental Functions.” Essential Government Functions means all services needed to ensure the continuing operation of the government agencies and provide for the health, safety and welfare of the public. All Essential Governmental Functions shall be performed in compliance with Social Distancing Requirements as defined this Section, to the extent possible.

f. For the purposes of this Order, covered businesses include any for-profit, non-profit, or educational entities, regardless of the nature of the service, the function they perform, or its corporate or entity structure.

g. For the purposes of this Order, “Essential Businesses” means:

  1. Healthcare Operations and Essential Infrastructure;

  2. Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other establishments engaged in the retail sale of canned food, dry goods, fresh fruits and vegetables, pet supply, fresh meats, fish, and poultry, and any other household consumer products (such as cleaning and personal care products). This includes stores that sell groceries and also sell other non-grocery products, and products necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences;

  3. Food cultivation, including farming, livestock, and fishing;

  4. Human and animal food processing facility workers;

  5. Businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals;

  6. Newspapers, television, radio, and other media services;

  7. Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities;

  8. Banks and related financial institutions;

  9. Hardware stores;

  10. Plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences, Essential Activities, and Essential Businesses;

  11. Businesses providing mailing and shipping services, including post office boxes;

  12. Educational institutions—including public and private K-12 schools, colleges, and universities—for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions related to distance learning, provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible;

  13. Laundromats, dry cleaners, and laundry service providers;

  14. Restaurants and other facilities that prepare and serve food, but only for delivery or carry out. Schools and other entities that typically provide free food services to students or members of the public may continue to do so under this Order on the condition that the food is provided to students or members of the public on a pick-up and takeaway basis only. Schools and other entities that provide food services under this exemption shall not permit the food to be eaten at the site where it is provided, or at any other gathering site;

  15. Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home;

  16. Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate;

  17. Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences;

  18. Airlines, taxis, and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for Essential Activities and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order;

  19. Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children;

  20. Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, and children;

  21. Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities;

  22. Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this Order to work as permitted. To the extent possible, childcare facilities must operate under the following mandatory conditions:

  1. Childcare must be carried out in stable groups of 10 or fewer (“stable” means that the same 10 or fewer children are in the same group each day);
  2. Children shall not change from one group to another;
  3. If more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group shall be in a separate room. Groups shall not mix with each other; and
  4. Childcare providers shall remain solely with one group of children.

h.  For the purposes of this Order, weddings, wakes or funerals are not exempt.

i. For the purposes of this Order, “Minimum Basic Operations” includes the following, provided that employees comply with Social Distancing Requirements as defined in this Section, to the extent possible, while carrying out such operations:

i. The minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’s inventory, ensure security, process payroll and employee benefits, or for related functions; and

ii. The minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences.

j. For the purposes of this Order, “Essential Travel” includes travel for any of the following purposes. Individuals engaged in any Essential Travel must comply with all Social Distancing Requirements as defined in this Section;

i. Any travel related to the provision of or access to Essential Activities, Essential Governmental Functions, Essential Businesses, or Minimum Basic Operations;

ii. Travel to care for elderly, minors, dependents, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons;

iii. Travel to or from educational institutions for purposes of receiving materials for distance learning, for receiving meals, and any other related services;

iv. Travel to return to a place of residence from outside the jurisdiction;

v. Travel required by law enforcement or court order;

vi. For purposes of this order, residences include hotels, motels, shared rental units, and similar facilities.        

Section Two.  For purposes of this Order, “School Operations” means any institution of elementary or secondary education, including but not limited to public, chartered, private, or parochial institutions.

Section Three. School Operations does not include a requirement that school buildings be closed if needed to house individuals, distribute food, provide medical care or any other services deemed necessary to protect the life and property of Platte County Residents and other critical resources.

Section Four. That due to unique characteristics and risks associated with transmission dynamics, the likely spread of the disease based on factors of social distancing, the clinical severity of COVID-19, the lack of vaccine or antivirals as treatment options, the crowd density, the inability to ensure social distancing and to prevent close contact among groups, all groups of ten or more persons and School Operations are prohibited from taking place in Platte County, Missouri, during the duration of this Order, unless groups or School Operations leadership can demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Director of the Platte County Health Department that sufficient mitigation plans for infectious diseases are in place.Section Five. Violation of any provision of this Order constitutes an imminent threat and creates an immediate menace to public health.

Section Six. This order shall take effect beginning at 12:01 AM Tuesday, March 24, 2020 and continue for thirty (30) days until 12:00 a.m. on April 24, 2020, unless otherwise extended.  This Order will continue to be in effect until it is extended, rescinded, superseded, or amended in writing.

            It is so ordered this 22nd day of March, 2020, at 12:00 PM.

Mary Jo Vernon

Mary Jo Vernon, Director

Platte County Health Department

Platte County, Missouri