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Gough Responds to Re-Opening of State

Shelby County Health Department Administrator Audrey Gough has informed residents of current guidelines after Governor Parson allowed Missouri’s stay-at-home order to expire beginning, Monday, May 4.

 While the social distancing rule of maintaining six-feet of separation between individuals will remain in effect, beginning Monday, Missourians regained some freedoms.

  Gough suggested limiting church services to one hour. 

  “It is all about exposure in a large group setting. The longer everyone sits inside a church, the longer the risk of exposure,” Gough said. “When we have to do the contact investigation of everyone who was in close contact/proximity of a positive case, we look at the duration of the exposure and what type of setting that individual was in.”  

  “The longer the time of being in direct contact with someone the more likely those exposed will be mandated to quarantine for 14 days in their homes,” she said. We are trying to limit the number of people exposed and the duration of the exposure. It is not meant to put a hardship on a minister or his congregation.”

  Gough made the decision to limit the number of people sitting at a table in a restaurant to six people rather than 10 as presented in the Governor’s statement. 

  “It’s all about exposure to someone who is shedding the virus in a large group setting. Yes, I know there are immediate families who have more than six people in their family. I get that. I also know that having 10 people not related to one another and from out of our county and from a hot spot in our state only enhances the spread of the virus,” Gough said.

  She stated it’s not about putting hardships on families who want to eat out, more about protecting consumers and owners of restaurants from spread of the disease.

  Gough said the social distancing is here to stay for a while. It would be easier for the owners of the restaurants when they have to take out tables and chairs to meet the six feet distancing between tables/chair settings.  

  Gough said restaurant owners are doing everything they can do to stay in business and abide by the rules and have expressed to her repeatedly they do not nor would they have the time or manpower to police their dining room areas. 

  “We are trying to keep from increasing the number of cases in our county and in our state. If everyone can be patient with these guidelines, and we can work together to keep folks as safe as we possibly can then maybe, we can lift/ease some of these requirements come June 1. But this all depends on everyone using their common sense and taking responsibility for their own actions,” Gough said.

  “We aren’t going to win this battle if we don’t work together for the good of our businesses, our churches our schools and each other,” Gough continued. “So, enjoy the month of May and continue to be cautious and safe in all your actions. We have to work together to keep Shelby County as safe as we can.”

  Corey Eagan with Greening-Eagan-Hayes Funeral Home in Shelbina said it will be planning services. Eagan said it hasn’t be determined how many family members will be allowed to attend services.

  “Safety is a priority and family’s input,” said Eagan.