Here’s a roundup of announcements made Wednesday, March 18, related to the coronavirus:
United Methodist cancels services
Houston United Methodist Church said it was cancelling its services until further notice.
Battlefield Mall to close
Springfield’s main mall — Battlefield Mall — is closing its doors starting at 7 p.m. today in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
The mall’s Indianapolis-based parent company wrote in a statement Wednesday its 209 properties nationwide would all be closing through at least March 29.
OTC to close all locations
Ozarks Technical Community College will close all locations starting Friday and remain shuttered through March 29. The college is closed to the public and only “essential” personnel and faculty are to report in preparation for online learning March 30.
MDC to close centers
The Missouri Department of Conservation announced it will close its nature centers, visitor centers and education centers around the state to visitors effective Thursday. The indoor facilities will be closed to the public through April 15 and MDC will reassess the situation at that point. Nature center trails remain open.
Armed Forces event cancelled
•American Legion Post 41 in Houston has cancelled its second annual Armed Forces Appreciation Day, set for Saturday, May 16, at the Houston Area Chamber of Commerce Fairgrounds.
April 7 election postponed
•All Missouri municipal elections previously scheduled for April 7 will be postponed to June 2. An executive order signed by Gov. Mike Parson declares that ballots already printed for the April 7 election may be used at the postponed date of June 2. Voters who have attained the age of 18 by April 7 will be allowed to cast a ballot.
Cabool School District update
•County school update: Cabool will be closed through Friday, April 3. That extends to all extra- and co-curricular activities, athletic competitions, practices, music and after-school programs and events.
Houston Head Start closed
•Houston Head Start will be closed Wednesday, March 18 – April 5. Class is set to resume April 6 but is subject to change at any time, officials said.
Guidance issued for 25th Circuit Court
•Persons at-risk of carrying COVID-19 are barred from entering the county courthouses/justice centers in Phelps, Pulaski, Texas and Maries counties under protocols detailed within an administrative order issued Monday by 25th Circuit Presiding Judge William E. Hickle.The order states those meeting the following criteria are not allowed within the courthouse:
—Persons who have traveled to any foreign country within the last 14 days.
—Persons who reside or have had close contact with someone who has traveled to any foreign country within the last 14 days.
—Persons who have been diagnosed with, or have had contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
—Persons with unexplained fever, cough or shortness of breath.
—The order states those attempting to enter the courthouses in violation of the protocols will be denied entry by a court security officer. Individuals not authorized to enter because of the protocols and who need remote access to the administration of justice should contact their county’s circuit clerk’s office. The Texas County Circuit Court’s Office can be contacted at 417-967-3742.
Hickle said the order is being made in compliance with CDC recommendations and special instructions from the Supreme Court of Missouri. The administrative order’s language is modeled off a similar order issued in St. Louis County with input also provided by the Supreme Court of Missouri.