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COVID-19 is a virus strain, formerly referred to as novel coronavirus. This new virus and disease were unknown before the outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019.
The most common symptoms of COVID-19 are:
Symptoms may appear between 2-14 days after the exposure.
If you are not in an area where COVID-19 is spreading, or if you have not traveled from one of those areas or have not been in close contact with someone who has and is feeling unwell, your chances of getting sick are currently low.
Concerns: Although for most people COVID-19 causes only mild illness, it can make some people very ill. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people, and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes) appear to be more vulnerable.
Stigma and discrimination can occur when people associate an infectious disease with a specific population or group of people. Stigma hurts us all by creating more fear and anger towards individuals instead of the disease itself.
We can fight stigma by providing social support and communicating facts. COVID-19 is a disease that can affect anyone, regardless of age, gender, nationality or background.
The disease can spread from person to person through small droplets from the nose or mouth which are spread when a person with COVID-19 coughs or exhales. Some spread may be possible before people show symptoms. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other health organizations are still researching other possible ways in which the virus could spread.
A specialized test must be performed to confirm that a person has been infected by the SARS-Cov-2 virus that causes COVID-19. A list of mobile testing sites is available online through the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
The St. Charles County Department of Public Health and other medical care organizations are prohibited from sharing individually-identifiable personal health information by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) regulations and the privacy rule. https://www.hhs.gov/hipaa/index.html
The most effective ways to protect yourself and others against COVID-19 are:
It is not confirmed how long the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes Coronavirus Disease 2019 can survive on surfaces. However, regular cleaning with disinfectant solutions according to manufacturer’s recommendations will kill the virus and make it unable to infect people.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers a list of registered disinfectant products that are approved for use against the virus.
Currently, diagnostic testing for COVID-19 is limited to cases who meet specific criteria identified by the CDC in conjunction with your state and local health department. There are currently no approved medications for the treatment of COVID-19. Most people with COVID-19 will recover on their own by drinking plenty of fluids, resting, and taking pain and fever medication. Some cases can develop pneumonia and require medical care or hospitalization.
In Missouri, the only laboratory approved to test for COVID-19 is the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory and each test must be approved by local and state health departments. Healthcare providers must contact their local health department to report a suspect COVID-19 case and get approval for testing.
For more information on testing procedures, please call the St. Charles County COVID-19 Information Hotline at 636-949-1899.
For traveler information from high risk countries please visit "Information for Travelers" section of the CDC website.
If you recently traveled from a high-risk country and you develop symptoms, stay at home, do not go to work or school and contact your local health department or healthcare provider for additional guidance. If you are a St. Charles County resident, please call 636-949-1899 if you recently traveled to a high-risk country, as defined by the CDC. If you live in a neighboring county, please reach out to your local department of public health.
People with no respiratory symptoms, such as cough, do not need to wear a medical mask. Use a mask only if you have respiratory symptoms (coughing or sneezing), have suspected COVID-19 infection with mild symptoms, or are caring for someone with suspected COVID-19 infection. A suspected COVID-19 infection is linked to travel in areas where cases have been reported, or close contact with someone who has traveled in these areas and has become ill.
The St. Charles County Department of Public Health follows CDC guidelines and recommendations.
The St. Charles County Department of Public Health and St. Charles County Government are collaborating with federal, state and local partners in monitoring those who have traveled to areas of concern, investigating potential cases and assisting with specimen testing when appropriate. The department’s communicable disease epidemiologist is coordinating the effort of the communicable disease staff to monitor the community for possible exposures, conduct increased surveillance, provide education to the community and stay up to date on state and federal information and guidance. The Public Health Director and Assistant Director are also epidemiologists and are closely monitoring the situation.
Department staff is assisting our community partners in health care, emergency medical services, schools, universities and businesses by answering their questions and assisting in their surveillance and preparedness activities.
On March 13, 2020, County Executive Steve Ehlmann declared a State of Emergency related to this event. Please see all the Executive Orders below:
Yes. Please see Executive Order 20-06 for more information.
St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann declared a State of Emergency on March 13, 2020, so the County can access potential federal funding should the need arise.
Over the last few weeks, St. Charles County Government and the St. Charles County Department of Public Health have worked tirelessly to distribute important and accurate information regarding Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). It is our priority to protect the health, safety and well-being of our community by minimizing exposure to this sweeping and fluid pandemic. We appreciate your patience as we learn together; more importantly, we aim to empower you with critical information to help guide your decisions about protecting the health of you, your loved ones and neighbors.
As you can imagine, we have received many social media messages regarding COVID-19 and are working to catching up. In particular, we’ve received many questions and comments on social media about the Executive Order issued March 23, 2020, and wanted to provide clarification:
• The order is not a “stay at home” order or a “shelter in place” order. It establishes social distancing requirements for residents and businesses in St. Charles County in incorporated and unincorporated areas.
• The order requires residents to remain within their residence or on the surrounding property except to engage in activities they deem necessary to their physical, mental or spiritual well-being, or for employment while maintaining a distance of at least 6 feet between themselves and others. Examples of necessary activities include grocery shopping, visiting the pharmacy, and non-elective physician appointments.
• The order requires retail stores and other areas of public accommodation to communicate social distancing requirements. This is most often observed through the use of signage and other reminders. Signage resources are available for download at https://www.sccmo.org/2115/COVID-19-Resources-for-Download.
• The restrictions do not specify which businesses are essential.
• There is no curfew specified in the order.
• Stronger restrictions or mandates by St. Charles County Government may be necessary in the future to protect the health and well-being of our residents as COVID-19 continues to spread.
• The order does not have an end date; it will expire only upon further order.
Visit https://www.sccmo.org/…/View/15365/20-06-Executive-Order-PDF to view the Executive Order (Executive Order 20-06).
Visit https://www.sccmo.org/Archive.aspx?ADID=4098 to view the entire press release about the order.
For questions and information about COVID-19, visit https://www.sccmo.org/2105/COVID-19 or call the COVID-19 Information Hotline at 636-949-1899, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily.
St. Charles County activated its Incident Command System at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 7. A core group of staff and community health care providers meet at 9 a.m. daily to share information and plan for a potential outbreak of the virus. Members of the Executive staff are in those meetings and the County Executive receives updates numerous times each day.
Update 3.17.20: Yes, letters via email went out to schools, nursing homes, long term care facilities, residential treatment facilities, assisted living facilities, churches, event planners and event venues to provide information and suggestions for prevention, as well as websites and contact numbers for further information. Department of Public Health, Emergency Management and other County personnel are meeting with facility and organizational leadership to discuss further actions.
Update 3.25.20: Please see Executive Orders below regarding prohibitions and restrictions:
The CDC is an excellent resource for up-to-date information and guidance on COVID-19.
Their website also offers specific guidance for certain groups, such as:
Currently there is no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 associated with imported goods and there have not been any cases of COVID-19 in the United States associated with imported goods. There is still a lot that is unknown about the newly emerged COVID-19 and how it spreads. In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures.
St. Charles County Department of Public Health officials are not recommending canceling events at this time, however, if COVID-19 begins to spread through our community, recommendations to modify, postpone or cancel large events will occur. In the case of events that involve populations that are the most at risk for COVID-19 such as those with heart, respiratory and other medical conditions, or those of advanced age, sponsors should consider ways to reduce exposure or postponing the event. For the safety and well-being of event staff, participants and the community, we strongly encourage organizers and staff to prepare for potential outbreaks by creating a disease protection plan for mass gatherings and large community events.
Update 3/13/20: The Department of Public Health is advising the public to not attend gatherings of 250 people or more in a single indoor space, and for persons especially vulnerable to COVID-19 to not attend gatherings of 10 or more people. At this time, St. Charles County is not prohibiting any events. We are working with organizations, groups and event planners to discuss what is best for their specific event. When making that decision, crowd size, venue, and audience age and health are considered. Any events that have been cancelled or postponed in St. Charles County have been the decision of the organizer. A State of Emergency was declared by County Executive Steve Ehlmann to allow the County the opportunity to access potential federal funding should the need arise.
Update 3/15/20: The decision to close schools was made between local school districts and public health authorities.
Update 3/16/20: The State of Emergency was amended to limit recreational, social, and entertainment gatherings to 50 people or fewer inside a single indoor space or enclosure. Please read the Executive Order for more information.
Update 3/19/20: The State of Emergency was amended to limit recreational, social, and entertainment gatherings to 10 people or less inside a single indoor space or enclosure. Please read the Executive Order for more information.
Per state and local statutes, the Director of the Department of Public Health, Demetrius Cianci Chapman, is authorized to make those decisions.
The decision to close schools was made between local school districts and public health authorities on Sunday, March 15, 2020.
Daycares are individual businesses independent from school districts. The Department of Public Health recommends that daycares follow the minimal to moderate guidelines recommended by the CDC in their Implementation of Mitigation Strategies for Communities with Local COVID-19 Transmission.
Pursuant to the order of the Missouri Supreme Court issued March 16, 2020, all jury trials are cancelled until April 3. Contact or watch for additional information from the 11th Judicial Circuit Court.
Yes. This election date has been moved to June 2 (the first Tuesday in June). Please follow the Election Authority web page for any future updates.
Yes. The Executive Order 20-03 applies to all areas within the boundaries of an establishment.
If you have recently applied for/have been issued a marriage license, but are not able to solemnize your marriage within 30 days after the issue date due to the impact of COVID-19, the Recorder of Deeds will reissue your marriage license at a later date at no cost to you.
Effective March 24, 2020, St Charles County Recorder of Deeds will be closed to the public to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 virus. During this closure, marriage license issuance will be temporarily suspended, and all other contact or business must be conducted by phone, email, mail or eRecording.
Documents can be dropped off to record in the Assessor/Collector drop-off box in front of the Administration Building at 201 N. Second street in St. Charles. To record, the office needs a self-addressed, stamped envelope to return the document and will accept business check or attach a note with a phone number to be called for credit card.
Yes. Please see Executive Order 20-06.
Please see the Executive Order 20-06 below for more information.
The CDC is an excellent resource for up-to-date information on COVID-19. Here are FAQs answered on their website.
For additional questions, please call the St. Charles County Public Health COVID-19 Information Hotline at 636-949-1899.