State Sen. Mike Cierpiot, R–Lee’s Summit, is urging his constituents to remain calm during the recent state of emergency called by the governor to help combat the spread of the coronavirus in Missouri.
On March 13, the governor declared a state of emergency through an executive order in response to the spread of the coronavirus. This action will allow the state more flexibility in utilizing resources and deploying them where they are most appropriate. The governor, following recommendations from the Centers of Disease Control, also urged the cancellation or suspension of public gatherings of 50 individuals or more, except for educational institutions, daycare facilities and business operations.
While in a state of emergency, Sen. Cierpiot stressed calmness, not panic, in dealing with the ongoing situation.
“We have dedicated medical professionals and officials from the federal, state and local levels working to keep the public healthy and safe,” Sen. Cierpiot said. “Rather than panic, I strongly urge my constituents to educate themselves about the coronavirus and how they can help mitigate its spread. We are all in this together, and together, we will get through this.”
The first case of the coronavirus in Missouri was identified on March 7, and since then, several more cases have been confirmed. Coronaviruses are commonly spread from an infected person to others through the air by coughing and sneezing; close personal contact, such as touching or shaking hands; or by touching an object or surface with the virus on it, then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes before washing your hands.
Symptoms of the coronavirus may appear 2-14 days after exposure and include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Reported illnesses stemming from COVID-19 have ranged from a mild illness to severe pneumonia that requires hospitalization. If you develop symptoms and have been in close contact with a person known to have the coronavirus or if you have recently traveled from an area with widespread or ongoing community spread of the coronavirus, call your health care professional. If you have been notified by public health authorities that you might have been exposed, follow instructions provided by your local health department.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) is encouraging people to take the following steps to help prevent the spread of the virus:
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds;
Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands;
Avoid close contact with others, especially those who are sick;
Stay home if you are sick;
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands; and
Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
Learn more about the coronavirus and what you can do to keep your family safe by visiting DHSS’ website, at health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/novel-coronavirus/. DHSS has also established a 24-hour hotline to help answer your questions about the coronavirus. The hotline can be reached at 877-435-8411.