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WEDNESDAY UPDATES: Hy-Vee offers bonuses to employees working during pandemic

UPDATE 8:45 P.M.: Hy-Vee will give bonuses to employees working in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The grocery store chain announced on Wednesday that it would give a 10 percent bonus to all hours worked by part-time and full-time employees from March 16 to April 12. The bonuses will be paid out on April 17.

The company also said it would give two weeks of protective leave for any employee that tests positive for the virus or are told by health officials to self-quarantine for a minimum of two weeks.

“We hope these new benefits will help lighten the load for our employees who are working around-the-clock to serve our customers in our stores," Hy-Vee CEO Randy Edeker said.

UPDATE 5:50 P.M.: Montgomery County health authorities have confirmed their first case of COVID-19.

The county announced the case in a news release, but said it would not give out any information about the patient. The county said it is working to determine who the infected person was in contact with.

Press Release - COVID-19 Case

Posted by Montgomery County Health Department MO on Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Montgomery County officials signed a resolution Thursday that encouraged all food establishments to restrict business to carry-out, delivery and curbside pickup. The county is also following Gov. Mike Parson’s limit on public activities to 10 or fewer people, the public health department told ABC 17 News.

UPDATE 5:30 P.M.: Stephens College said Wednesday that it will close its campus for the rest of the spring semester.

All classes are being taught online and commencement ceremonies have been moved to August. The college noted in a news release that no Stephens students or employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

The college had already limited the number of employees on campus and suspended in-person classes.

UPDATE 5:15 P.M.: Columbia and Boone County public health officials have added two more cases of COVID-19 to the county's official count.

The number stood at 24 late Wednesday afternoon, according to a news release. That total is up from 20 Wednesday morning. One person has died in Boone County from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

The state's count jumped more than 100 cases to 356 on Wednesday. Some cases reported by local health authorities were not included in that number. St. Louis County accounted for 129 of the total cases.

Three of Boone County's cases were caused by community transmission, meaning the patients picked up the novel coronavirus from an unknown, local source.

UPDATE 3:22 P.M.: The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced Wednesday there are at least 356 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state.

Since yesterday, health officials confirmed more than 100 more cases. The health department shows eight people have died from coronavirus.

The department of health website said there are at least four positive cases not attributed to any Missouri county.

The highest concentration of positive COVID-19 cases was reported in St. Louis County.

UPDATE 2:30 P.M.: Missouri's congressional delegation issued a statement Wednesday urging the president to grant Gov. Mike Parson's request for a disaster declaration.

“Access to federal resources may better equip Missouri communities to appropriately respond to this public health emergency,” the delegation wrote. “We respectfully request your prompt action to ensure that our communities receive the immediate support needed to respond to this unprecedented disaster.”

The congressional delegation includes all of the state's U.S. representatives and senators.

Parson on Wednesday requested aid from FEMA for many state residents out of work. The requests were sent to the federal agency's individual assistance program and the public assistance program.

The statewide count of confirmed COVID-19 cases stood at 255 on Wednesday afternoon. That number does not include several cases reported by local health departments. Five people have died.

UPDATE 1:18 P.M.: The Columbia/Boone County health department said Wednesday two more people have tested positive for COVID-19.

As of Wednesday afternoon, there are at least 22 confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in Boone County.

One person has died from coronavirus in the county.

The state health department announced Tuesday there are at least 255 positive COVID-19 cases.

A stay-at-home order went into effect in Boone County at 8 a.m.

UPDATE 12:30 P.M.: The South Callaway School District says a William Woods student who was observing a district classroom last week tested positive Monday for COVID-19.

The district said the William Woods student was at the South Callaway Early Childhood building on March 17. The district said the William Woods student was not in contact with all South Callaway students in the building but was in Mrs. Slagle's kindergarten classroom.

It's not clear when the William Woods student was exposed to COVID-19.

The South Callaway district shut down March 17.

No district students or employees have tested positive for COVID-19, the letter said.

Callaway County health officials said Tuesday that 10 William Woods students have tested positive for COVID-19. The county health department has issued an advisory urging residents to stay at home.

UPDATE 10:47 A.M.: The Cole County Health Department sent out an advisory Wednesday morning recommending all county residents stay at home.

The advisory said people living with others should social distance themselves. It included homeless people should find shelter.

The advisory recommended non-essential businesses to limit contact between employees and members of the public.

As of Wednesday morning, the Cole County Commission had not signed a stay-at-home order.

At least seven people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Cole County.

UPDATE 10:15 A.M.: Gov. Mike Parson announced Wednesday morning he requested a federal disaster declaration for the entire state.

The request sent to President Trump said the COVID-19 pandemic in Missouri is beyond state and local control.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has already had a devastating effect on the state of Missouri, straining hospitals, healthcare facilities and nursing homes, businesses large and small, schools, and tens of thousands of Missourians who have been forced out of their jobs,” Parson said.

Parson requested aid from FEMA for many state residents out of work. The requests were sent to the federal agency's individual assistance program and the public assistance program.

As of Wednesday morning, at least 255 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the state. At least eight people have died from novel coronavirus.

The governor has not issued a statewide stay-at-home order, as of Wednesday.

Parson is scheduled to hold a news conference at 3 p.m. ABC 17 News will have a livestream of the conference when it starts.

UPDATE 8:29 A.M.: A Randolph County stay-at-home order went into effect at 8 a.m. Wednesday, March 25. It's in effect until April 24.

The Randolph County Commission along with the county health department director signed the order Tuesday. It's similar to the measure in place in Boone County.

Residents are ordered to stay inside their residence but can leave for essential activities. Essential businesses include grocery stores, healthcare operations, farms, as well as gas stations and many others.

Residents who violate the order could face a $1,000 fine or jail time, according to the document.

Non-essential businesses like bowling alleys, movie theaters and private parks were ordered to stop business. Weddings and other social gatherings are not included with essential business.

The order said public parks and driving ranges were allowed to continue operations.

ORIGINAL: Columbia and Boone County residents will be under a stay-at-home order starting at 8 a.m. Wednesday, a measure aimed at curbing the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

The order was announced Tuesday by Columbia Mayor Brian Treece, along with Boone County leaders. It will be in effect until April 24 at 8 a.m.

Enforcement of the order will be on a complaint-based system. Citizens can report an individual or business not complying with the order by calling 573-874-2489 or emailing City@CoMo.gov.

The Columbia Chamber of Commerce is working to communicate with local businesses impacted by the increased restrictions.

Boone / Columbia / Email Alert – Breaking News / Health / Missouri / News / Public Health Alert / Top Stories

ABC 17 News Team

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