An order for all Ozark residents to stay in their homes starts just after midnight March 26, and will last for up to 30 days.
Ozark Mayor Rick Gardner announced the executive order Tuesday afternoon in response to similar orders going into place in Springfield and Greene County. The Christian County Commission is scheduled to vote on a 30-day stay-at-home order for all unincorporated areas of Christian County on March 25.
Gardner received the authority to make stay-at-home orders from the Ozark Board of Aldermen at an emergency meeting March 18, when Ozark officially declared a state of emergency for the COVID-19 virus pandemic that has caused five deaths and officially infected 255 Missourians, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Two Ozark residents are among those who have tested positive with the virus, and more than 50 Christian County residents are under quarantine because they may have come into contact with an infected person.
“With the situation evolving in neighboring cities and counties, a unified approach is believed to be the right thing to do for our community,” Ozark Public Information Officer Sam Payne said. “The intent of the stay at home order is to ensure that the maximum number of people self-isolate in their places of residence to the maximum feasible extent, while enabling essential services to continue, to slow the spread of COVID-19 to the maximum extent possible.”
The order will not apply to persons traveling to work for essential business or essential government function. “Essential” is defined as health care operations, essential infrastructure, including construction, operation of public transportation and utilities, internet and telecommunications systems, first responders, emergency management, grocery stores, food banks, convenience stores, food cultivation including farming, media, gas stations and auto supply facilities, pharmacies, healthcare supply stores and healthcare facilities, auto repair facilities, banks and related financial institutions (drive-thru only), hardware stores, service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the sanitation and essential operation of residences, businesses that provide necessities of life for economically disadvantaged individuals and shelter facilities, businesses that supply other essential businesses with supplies necessary to operate and supply products needed for people to work from home.
Non-essential facilities and businesses are ordered to suspend all activities.
Everyone is Ozark is still encouraged to follow social distancing recommendations from the Christian County Health Department, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Everyone is encouraged to keep six feet of distance between themselves and others. Restaurants are prohibited from providing services in their dining rooms, but may provide drive-through, pick-up or curbside, and delivery services. Bars, gyms, hair and nail salons, and similar businesses will continue to fall under the temporary closure order.