Friday, April 03, 2020

Taney County announces first COVID-19 death

(From the Taney County Health Department)

The Taney County Health Department announces the first death from COVID-19 in Taney County.

The man was in his 70s and had underlying health conditions. The death is included in Taney County's total case count, which has reached five cases of COVID-19 as of this date.

"We are heartbroken to announce the first death in our country from COVID-19," said Lisa Marshall, Taney County Health Department director.

"We want to express our sincerest condolences to the patient's family and loved ones."

Marshall went on to state, "This is a time for each community member to take social responsibility to keep COVID-19 from spreading. Please stay home unless you need essentials such as medication or food or you are an essential worker and must go to work."

Signs and symptoms of COVID-19 include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Please contact your health care provider or CoxHealth Virtual Visits for testing options.

Highway Patrol suspends all written, skill-based driver testing through April 15

(From the Missouri State Highway Patrol)

Colonel Eric T. Olson, superintendent of the Missouri State Highway Patrol announces that the Patrol is extending the suspension of all written and skills-based driver road testing at all locations until April 15, 2020. This includes operator, commercial driver license, and motorcycle testing.

In addition, the Patrol is extending the suspension of all salvage inspections at all locations and all bus inspections until April 15, 2020. This does not affect local businesses that are the providers of safety and emission inspections for the public and may continue to be open for services depending on their circumstances.

The Patrol is monitoring the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and will update the public on testing and inspections as more information becomes available.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol appreciates the public’s cooperation in this effort to ensure public health and safety.

Joplin City Hall, city buildings closed through April 30, breakdown offered on all city services

(From the City of Joplin)

To lessen the spread of coronavirus-19 (COVID-19), throughout our community, City Hall and other City buildings will remain closed to the public through April 30, 2020, unless further action is needed to expand the closures.

The closures include all City buildings with the exception of the Joplin Health Department as it continues to work with its community partners during this public health emergency.

To continue social distancing measures, health officials ask that only those needing immediate health services be sought from the department due to the emergency. If you have questions about health services call 417-623-6122.

Because of the closures, essential City services are being adjusted to allow business to continue without citizens having to come into the buildings.

To protect the health of our staff and community and lessen the possible spread of the coronavirus-19, the following programs and city services have been closed or modified. We will continue to provide essential services throughout this public health crisis.

Here’s a current update: (in alphabetical order)


Commercial Flights are continuing with one daily flight to Dallas.

Building Division

New Permits and Applications – New applications for building permits are continuing to be accepted. Applications can be submitted through email or by phone.
Inspections – Required inspections for permitted projects will continue. (24-hour notice is required)
Submit all applications, inspection requests, or general questions to (417) 624-0820 ext. 1521 or


Cemetery office is closed to the public but can be reached by phone at 417-623-7990
To purchase burial space, and/or arrange payment, contact office by phone.
Payments to be made by mail at this time and addressed to 3010 West 1st Street, Joplin, MO 64801.

City Clerk

All City Boards and Commissions are encouraged to cancel meetings until April 30, 2020.

If pending business requires a meeting before then, meetings can be conducted via teleconferencing with instructions posted on the agenda informing the public how to access the meeting.

Finance Department

(Utility Bills)
Utility bill payments will be accepted: (No additional fees apply),

- By phone 417-627-2955 during duration of public health emergency,

- Online at

- At drop box located on the west side of City Hall 602 S. Main.

Envelopes provided and statement stub should be used to ensure proper account is credited.

- By mail at 602 S. Main Street, Joplin, MO 64801

(Business License)
Business License fees will be accepted: (No additional fees apply),

- By phone 417-624-0820 ext. 1242 during duration of public health emergency,

- At drop box located on the west side of City Hall 602 S. Main.

- By mail at 602 S. Main Street, Joplin, MO 64801

(Cab Coupons)
Cab Coupons may be purchased: (No additional fees apply),

- By phone 417-624-0820 ext. 1241 during duration of public health emergency,

- At drop box located on the west side of City Hall 602 S. Main.

Include full name and address of citizen purchasing coupons.

- By mail at 602 S. Main Street, Joplin, MO 64801

Cab Coupons to be mailed and issued up to a week ahead of expiration date to allow for mail time.

Fire Department

Burn permits will not be issued during this public health emergency.

Fire Reports - Call 417-623-0403 to request a report. These will be sent via email, mail or fax.

Health Department:

Vital Records – available on an immediate need basis.

Immunizations – for availability call 417-623-6122

Temporary Medicaid Service, including pregnancy testing - enrollment to continue.

WIC to continue providing benefits to all active participants by phone call 417-623-1928.

Animal control services to continue with some limitations in service.


MAPS curb to curb services to continue on prescheduled basis.

Schedule by calling M-F 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. 626-8607

MAPS coupons can still be purchased through the mail.

MAPS buses will continue to accept cash or check payments for the exact fare.

Sunshine Lamp Trolley services have been suspended.

Trolley pass holders for March will be reissued a new pass for current month when services resume.

Municipal Court:

(Docket Schedule)
All Court dockets have been suspended and rescheduled to a date beyond May 1, 2020. Dates were moved beyond the latest May 1, 2020 mandate from the Missouri Supreme Court, which suspends all
in person proceedings.

(Court Fines)
Court fines can be made online at, (available 24 hours/day)
By phone – call 1-800-444-1187 (available 24 hours/day) Bilingual representatives available.
Drop Box – located on west side of City Hall, 602 S. Main St. Envelopes provided at box and should be used with your payment.
For other payment options, call 417-627-2930 Monday- Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Parks and Recreation

A “Virtual Recreation Center” has been created to help residents stay active, healthy, and informed; at or directly at

Parks are open to the public; however, bathrooms, basketball courts and volleyball courts are closed at this time. During park visits, please use social distancing guidelines as necessary.

Shelter Reservations are not being taken until after April 30.

Tennis courts at Joplin Athletic Complex are open.

Memorial Hall is closed to the public until after April 30.

All programs, events, leagues and tournaments are cancelled or postponed.

State of Soccer leagues has been postponed until the week of May 11, 2020.

Registration is open online at for programs and events scheduled after April 30. (Programs will be reviewed at a later date)

Planning, Development and Neighborhood Services

Neighborhood Services - See Click Fix weed/grass complaints and other non-emergency items will be acknowledged but not addressed during the public health emergency. However, any emergency situations will be addressed.

Planning and Zoning questions can be addressed to Troy Bolander, Ph. 417-624-0820, Ext. 510 or by email at

Community Development/HOME questions may be sent to

Police Department

Citizens are encouraged to contact the Police Department at 417-623-3131 and not travel to the station.

A phone is available inside the foyer at both entrances that can be used to contact our dispatch center.
In case of an emergency please contact 911. 

Due to the health emergency, the Justice Center Building which houses the Police Department, is not open to the public.

Most reports and paperwork can be emailed, faxed, or mailed upon request during this closure.

Recycling Center and Waste Collection

Recycling Center is closed at this time. 

Monthly tree limb drop-off is suspended until further notice.

Republic Services will continue residential waste collection with the following modifications:

All trash must be bagged and placed in a Republic cart

Republic will not service any trash outside of the containers

Bulky item pick-up at curb will be suspended until further notice.

Schifferdecker Golf Course 

Course is open. Clubhouse is closed to the public. Credit card and online payments only.

Golf carts are available and sanitized after each use.

All leagues and tournaments have been cancelled at this time.

Public Works 

To report emergency issues involving the following public works services please contact 417-624-0820 ext. 564/566
Street and storm water
Sewer maintenance
Traffic signal and street sign issues 
Permits for Sanitary Sewer repairs are continuing to be issued by the Engineering Division. Applications and permits for sewer repairs will be handled by phone at 417-624-0820 ext., 584
Inspections for permitted repairs can be submitted by email at or by phone 417-624-0820 ext. 521. (24-hour notice is required)

This public health emergency is a rapidly-changing situation that requires frequent evaluation, and we will continue to follow the guidelines of national, state, and local public health officials as this situation develops. In the meantime, please call City Hall, 417-624-0820, with any questions or visit the City’s website at for the City’s response to COVID-19. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at offers more information relating to regional and national perspective during this public health emergency.

Additional Info...

Freeman daily briefing: No new positive tests, patient hospitalized with COVID-19 able to return home

Freeman Health CEO Paula Baker shared three positive announcements at the beginning of today's COVID-19 briefing.

"We have had no new positives," Baker said, adding that one of the two COVID-19 patients no longer has to be hospitalized.

Freeman has also added more phone lines on its call-in screening system to make it easier for callers to get through.

The briefing also includes information on how faith can help in dealing both with the disease and with the self-isolation from Bill Cox, Freeman's associate director of pastoral care.

Oklahoma COVID-19 death toll increases to 38

(From the Oklahoma State Department of Health)

As of this advisory, there are 988 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Oklahoma.
There are an additional four deaths:

Three in Tulsa County, three females older than 65.

One in Cleveland County, a female older than 65.

There are 38 total deaths in the state.

Pursuant to Governor Stitt issuing a catastrophic health emergency yesterday, the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) continues to update reporting which will create more transparency and ultimately notify first responders if the address they are responding to corresponds to an address of a patient who has tested positive for COVID-19.

In order to comply with state and federal privacy requirements, the patient's name will stay protected.
OSDH is working with the Office of Emergency Management to channel the information to the 911 dispatch system through processes already in place. 

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) continues to open additional drive-thru COVID-19 testing locations across the state. Find the drive-thru locations by clicking here.

For more information, visit

Joplin WIC program enrolling new participants, adjusts product list due to COVID-19

(From the City of Joplin)

The Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children, known as WIC, remains in operation in Missouri. The Joplin City WIC program will continue to support current participants and to enroll new participants who may now be income-eligible due to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to control the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic through means of social distancing, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) has approved Missouri’s request to waive the WIC program’s physical presence requirement.

Normal clinic operations that require employees, participants, and applicants to physically come into the clinic create an undesirable risk and there are mandatory clinic closures in some areas. 

A waiver of physical presence removes a requirement that could prevent or impede the provision of essential WIC services to participants under current circumstances. This will be in effect through May 31, 2020, unless extended.

WIC participants may now choose from expanded options in a variety of food categories to help address WIC product shortages that have occurred because of food distribution issues. Some of the options WIC participants have include:

-Substitute Jif, Skippy and Peter Pan peanut butters in the same size;
-Substitute a dozen medium, extra-large, jumbo, or brown eggs if large eggs are not available;
-Purchase quarts and gallons of multiple varieties of milk to total the number of gallons on their checks;
-Purchase approved alternate brands of wheat bread if the WIC-approved brands are unavailable; and
-Purchase a wider variety of infant fruits and vegetables.

The WIC state agency will decrease the maximum quantity printed on checks to allow WIC customers to purchase smaller quantities of food items from multiple retailers for up to the full amount of their food prescription. 

The WIC program is considering other product list expansions at this time to be effective throughout May 31, 2020, unless extended.

Per WIC requirements, retailers must allow WIC participants to purchase the full amount of items on their check, if available in the store, and should not be held to quantity limitations. WIC participants may also inquire about the possibility of ordering formula from an authorized pharmacy for later pick-up within the same month if formula is not available in their immediate area.

Pregnant women, new mothers, and families with children from birth through their fifth birthday can learn more about qualifying and enrolling in the Missouri WIC program by visiting the Missouri WIC website at to locate their local agency or by calling 1-800-TEL-LINK (1-800-835-5465).

Contact the Joplin City WIC program at 417-623-1928 to find out about program changes due to COVID-19. The satellite location at Jasper County Health Department is closed at this time, but will reopen once this pandemic is over. We are working at the main site in Joplin, making phone appointments and other options as needed, due to local agency changes in operation.

For more information about COVID-19, visit our website: or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at .

Additional Info about the WIC program...

The complete Joplin Stay-At-Home Order

City of Joplin offers more details on stay-at-home order

(From the City of Joplin)

Today, Mayor Gary Shaw, in consultation with Health Director Dan Pekarek, City attorney’s office and other local health systems, issued a “Stay at Home” order requiring Joplin citizens to stay at home except for “essential activities” as our community continues working to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“With today’s directive, we are telling our citizens that they have a role in the outcome in this public health emergency,” said Shaw. “It is known that this virus spreads from person to person and we’ve stressed the importance of social distancing. Now it is critical that residents remain at home unless they are completing an essential activity, such as getting groceries or medicine.”

Under the emergency authority granted to the Mayor by City Code Sec. 38-43, and Ordinance 2020-041 Shaw announced the Stay At Home Order. The Order will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday, April 6, 2020 and will remain in effect until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, April 19, 2020. This order will be evaluated on an ongoing basis and may be modified as circumstances change based on guidance from public health official and other experts.

“I have given this great thought and consideration through these past few days, and have consulted many,” said the Mayor. “And I’ve heard from quite a few citizens who are in full support of this order so that our community may work together to get through this health crisis. By staying home and minimizing outings, we not only help ourselves but our community as a whole. This is the right thing to do for the health and safety of our citizens and I ask each one of our residents to do the right thing by adhering to these guidelines.”

The order gives directions to citizens, allowing only “essential activities” during this time. This would include working at essential businesses, going to pharmacies, medical providers, grocery stores, getting gasoline, or physically caring for others. Citizens may worship at churches and other places of worship while maintaining social distancing requirements and not to exceed 10 or more persons.

For purposes of this order, “essential activities” mean:

-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), or close personal acquaintances, 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;
-To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves and their family or household members, or close personal acquaintances, 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;
-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, biking, walking, hiking, or running;
-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, as defined below, at Non-Essential Businesses; and
-To care for a family member, close personal acquaintance, or pet in another household.
Churches and other places of worship may be open for solitary worship with social distancing requirements not to exceed 10 or more persons. Virtual services are encouraged.

The Stay At Home Order also defines a series of essential businesses, which are those that will be allowed to continue to operate. Nonessential businesses can continue minimal activities as specifically defined in the Order and individuals must follow physical distancing requirements while doing these.

Essential businesses and services are viewed as those that people need to continue regarding any kind of safety and sanitation in their homes. Maintaining their homes and families with necessities such as groceries, gas, home maintenance, vehicle repair and general household functions will allow basic operations to continue within homes while limiting additional activities that could be done at a later time.

Major categories of essential businesses defined in the order include:

-Health care (doctors, dentists, nurses, hospitals, pharmacies, medical research facilities, blood donation services, labs, etc.);
-Veterinary care;
-Food and drink production and distribution (including grocery stores, convenient stores, markets and restaurants that offer food for carryout);
-Sanitation (including laundromats, dry cleaners, household and business cleaning services and supply stores);
-Transportation (including gas stations, public transit, taxis, airports, railroads and other provide transportation providers);
-Financial Services (including banks, insurance providers, and professional services required to comply with legal and regulatory requirements);
-Professional services, (legal services, accounting services, insurance services), Real estate services including appraisal, inspection, mortgage and title services;
-Manufacturing and distribution of supplies and materials for essential businesses (including trucking and other supply chain support functions);
-Maintenance and construction of infrastructure and households;
-Essential Government Operations;
-Residential facilities (including hotels and motels);
-Media and Communications Providers (including newspapers, radio stations and television stations);
-Mailing, Shipping, and Delivery Services.

A full list of categories of essential businesses is provided in the Stay At Home Order.

For more information about COVID-19, visit our website: or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at .

Walmart limiting number of customers in store beginning Saturday

(From Walmart)

By Dacona Smith, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, Walmart U.S.

In this taxing and uncertain time, our associates have gone above and beyond to help Americans get the food, medicine and supplies they need.

We care deeply about our associates’ health and well-being, and in recent weeks we’ve taken steps such as expanding our paid leave policies; closing our stores overnight for cleanings and restocking; installing sneeze guards and social distance markers in stores; beginning temperature checks; and starting to make gloves and masks available to associates who want them.

While many of our customers have been following the advice of the medical community regarding social distancing and safety, we have been concerned to still see some behaviors in our stores that put undue risk on our people.

We want to encourage customers to bring the fewest number of people per family necessary to shop, allow for space with other customers while shopping, and practice social distancing while waiting in lines. We’re also seeing states and municipalities set varying policies regarding crowd control – which has created some confusion regarding shopping.

To promote health, safety and consistency for our associates and customers in this environment, we’re taking some further steps for our U.S. stores:

Regulating Store Entry

Starting Saturday, we will limit the number of customers who can be in a store at once. Stores will now allow no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet at a given time, roughly 20 percent of a store’s capacity.

To manage this restriction, the associates at a store will mark a queue at a single-entry door (in most cases the Grocery entrance) and direct arriving customers there, where they will be admitted one-by-one and counted. Associates and signage will remind customers of the importance of social distancing while they’re waiting to enter a store – especially before it opens in the morning.

Once a store reaches its capacity, customers will be admitted inside on a “1-out-1-in” basis.

Shopping Inside the Store

We’ll also institute one-way movement through our aisles next week in a number of our stores, using floor markers and direction from associates. We expect this to help more customers avoid coming into close contact with others as they shop.

We’ll continue to put signage inside our stores to remind customers of the need to maintain social distancing – especially in lines. And once customers check out, they will be directed to exit through a different door than they entered, which should help lessen the instances of people closely passing each other.

We always want people to feel welcome at Walmart, and we know that in ordinary times a store is a gathering place for members of a community to connect and socialize. We look forward to the time when that is again the case; however, we now want to prioritize health and safety by encouraging customers to do their shopping at a distance from others, then head home.

As the COVID-19 situation continues to develop, our leaders and operations teams will continue to listen to advice from medical experts, associates and customers, and consider how we can best serve people while helping slow the spread of the virus. The health and safety of our associates and customers is what matters the most.

Springfield mayor, Greene County presiding commissioner share video message on COVID-19

(From the City of Springfield)

Springfield, Missouri Mayor Ken McClure and Greene County, Missouri Presiding Commissioner Bob Dixon shared their second video message after both elected officials enacted "Stay-At-Home" orders March 24 in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Greene County currently has 64 cases. Both officials shared their gratitude for the support and cooperation from the business and nonprofit communities.

Mayor McClure especially thanked the Ozarks Alliance to End Homelessness, which is bringing together resources to address the needs of the homeless in our community specifically related to COVID-19.

Community Partnership of the Ozarks’ One Door team has worked with partners to provide alternate sheltering for approximately 50 households since the COVID-19 outbreak began locally, thanks to financial support from Community Foundation of the Ozarks and Mercy Hospital. To support these efforts, learn more and donate at