In an effort to slow the spread and better protect our community from COVID-19, Johnson County Community Health Services (JCCHS) issued a stay-at-home order for all of Johnson County, MO. It began at 12:01 p.m. on Wednesday, April 1 and is in effect until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, April 30, 2020. The deadline could be rescinded or extended, dependent upon the continued spread of the coronavirus. This includes all municipalities within Johnson County. As of Monday, April 6, Johnson County reported 34 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The JCCHS Board of Trustees, in a collaborative effort with the Johnson County Commissioners, approved the stay-at-home order during a special board meeting on Tuesday, March 31, 2020. The decision was unanimous. “As this continues to spread, not only across our region, but also our nation, this is another step Johnson County Community Health Services is taking to help slow the spread of the coronavirus,” said Mary Thaut, JCCHS administrator. “We are urging everyone to do their part and stay home, practice social distancing, and create a safe environment for our families, friends and communities.” The order requires all residents in Johnson County to remain at home except for activities essential to the health and safety of themselves, family or friends. Essential activities include: working in an essential business; obtaining supplies or necessary services (including but not limited to, food, medicine, cleaning supplies, and pet food); caring for a family member or loved one; seeking medical care; and, exercising and maintaining personal health. Individuals are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing and to stay home if not engaging in these activities. All non-essential businesses or non-essential operations must cease in-person operations. Operations may continue if business activities can be performed remotely. Essential businesses are those that provide critical services or support for daily living, personal health, or safety. A complete list can be found on the order and on the FAQ page of the Johnson County Community Health Services website at www.Johnsoncountyhealth.org. Vulnerable populations, including the elderly and those with underlying health conditions, must stay at home. For those who are younger and in good health, please reach out to those in this group and pick up needed items for those who cannot get items themselves. Remember to drop off items at the door and to not make personal contact. “We are continuously monitoring the evolving situation and working to ensure our community is prepared,” continued Thaut. “We ask the public to please continue practicing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 while under this order.” If you suspect that you have COVID-19 or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, call your healthcare provider to let them know before seeking care. It is critical that your provider is aware you may have COVID-19 prior to your arrival at a healthcare facility, and that you follow all instructions for arriving at a healthcare facility. For more information, please visit the JCCHS website at www.Johnsoncountyhealth.org or call the State of Missouri Hotline at 1-877-435-8411. Editor’s Note: Two days after this JOCO announcement, Governor Mike Parson issued a “Stay at Home” order for the entire State of Missouri. Also, on Saturday, April 4, the CDC recommended people wear a protective mask when leaving your home.