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Cole County officials sign stay-at-home order to slow COVID-19

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)

A stay-at-home order in Cole County will go into effect Saturday.

Cole County Public Health Director Kristi Campbell said at a news conference Friday that she signed the order. All Cole County residents will be required to stay at home except for conducting essential business starting at 5 p.m. Saturday.

The order expires at 5 p.m. on April 11.

Chezney Schulte, communicable disease coordinator for the Cole County Health Department, said the county is now up to 14 cases of COVID-19. The county started the day with 12 confirmed cases. Two people have recovered, she said.

About 200 tests are pending results, she said.

Schulte said officials have reason to believe that community transmission is happening, meaning people are picking up the novel coronavirus locally.

"We have reason to believe that the ones that came in today were community spread," Schulte said in answer to reporters' questions.

Jefferson City Police Department Lt. David Williams said police and sheriff's deputies will not be out looking for people who violate the order.

Cole County Presiding Commissioner Sam Bushman and Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin attended the news conference to express support for the order.

Campbell said non-essential businesses can stay open if they stop contact with the public and observe social distancing guidelines on the job. Essential businesses such as grocery stores, gas stations and even auto repair shops will remain open, she said.

Boone County is under a stay-at-home order until April 24. That order could be extended.

"Individuals are strongly encouraged to practice physical distancing to the extent feasible while engaging in these activities and to stay home if not engaging with one of these specific essential activities," Campbell said.

The state said Friday that 670 people have tested positive statewide and nine have died from COVID-19.

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.

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