Details for A2

2A

THE MISSOURIAN

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 11, 2020

TESTED
CONTINUED FROM 1A

results were issued within 24 hours. She stressed
the testing, which is basically a nasal swab, was
not done at or by any county health department
staff.
The health department also was notified there
is no specific testing kit for coronavirus and testing
could be done with items already found in hospitals
or doctor’s offices.
The samples do need to be kept refrigerated in
transport and ice packs are included in the kits.
“The testing was done by a medical provider,”
Hittson said. “All samples are then sent to the Missouri State Public Health Lab. All samples are given a priority based on the subsequent investigation
of the patients. Priority one goes first and others
are tested when time allows.”
Hittson added the testing of patients here should
not alarm residents, since coronavirus symptoms
so closely mimic that of influenza, which is very
common this time of year.
“Right now, you would be hard-pressed to find
any jurisdiction that hasn’t tested at least a few
people,” Hittson said. “We encourage everyone to
continue to use best practices to limit spread.”
County
Brinker says no matter what happens with the
virus in coming weeks, he feels the county has
made the proper preparations and is working with
the East-West Gateway Council of Governments
(EWGW) in a more regional response.
“I don’t suspect this is something that is going to
go away overnight,” Brinker said. “Everybody’s getting out in front of it to prevent the spread. We’re
prepared for this and I don’t think this will in any
way spread like the flu numbers in the county.”
Current flu cases now number 2,100. The highest ever in county history was the 2017-18 flu season with 2,913.
Brinker added he has spoken to executives Sam
Page from St. Louis County and Steve Ehlman
from neighboring St. Charles County and neither
reports any new cases in their jurisdictions.
Through its partnership with EWGW, Franklin
County has ordered 200 N95 surgical masks, eight
cases each of wipes and hand sanitizer, and 10 additional testing kits.
Brinker also announced the county’s legal counsel has prepared a document for residents who may
be quarantined.
If residents test positive and are ill, they
will be hospitalized. If well enough to go
home, they will be confined to their homes or
a designated quarantine location by penalty
of misdemeanor charge.
Hittson added during previous communicable
disease outbreaks those affected have been willing
participants in testing and have cooperated with
the health department, so no issues are expected
with potential quarantines.
In the early stages, health department officials
will handle the caseload, but if necessary, the

PROGRESS

and major collectors and
arterial roads.
road, including minor
Public Works Director John Nilges said
the city was able to get
the two grants, in part,
because of its AmeriWednesday Missourian: Real
cans with Disabilities
Estate Ads – 2 p.m. Thursday;
Act (ADA) transition
Auction, Farm, Garage Sales, all
other Display Ads, Classified Line
plan.
and Classified Display Ads 4 p.m.
“We’re kind of a big
Monday; Preprinted Supplements
8 a.m. Wednesday; Ads with proof
fish in a small pond berequired – 2 p.m. Monday; Legals
cause of that,” he said.
– 4 p.m. Monday.
“It allows us to get
Weekend Missourian: All Ads,
more points to get as
Classified Line, Classified Display,
much money back from
Garage Sales, Real Estate – 4
p.m. Thursday. Special Sections
the Feds as possible.”
– 10 a.m. Wednesday; Preprinted
Jefferson Street
Supplements – 8 a.m. WednesPlans call for a 2-inch
day; Legals – 4 p.m. Thursday.
asphalt overlay on Jefferson
Street
from
THE WASHINGTON MISSOURIAN
Highway 100 to Fifth
(USPS 667-820)
Street. Sidewalk and
636-239-7701
curb and gutter replaceVolume 160
No. 2
ment, including ADA
Published twice weekly on
upgrades, will take
Wednesdays and weekends
place from Fifth Street
with editions in
Washington, Union and St. Clair
to Wainwright Street.
by the
New sidewalks will
Missourian Media Group
be
added from Wainat
wright to Highway 100.
14 West Main Street,
The sidewalks along
Washington, MO 63090.
Email: washnews@emissourian.com
that stretch of Jefferson

CONTINUED FROM 1A

AD DEADLINES

county emergency operations center can be activated, which would bring in more staff members
and could involve deputies from the sheriff ’s office
to help.
Emergency operations centers have been activated in St. Louis city, and St. Louis, Jefferson
and St. Charles counties.
If patients are ordered to stay home, services
will be provided to make sure they have proper
supplies for the duration of the quarantine.
Phone Calls
Hittson stressed the county does not want prospective patients to travel to medical providers to
be tested for coronavirus. Instead, residents are
asked to contact the health department at 636583-7300 to receive guidance on where they can
be tested in a more isolated environment to limit
potential virus spread.
A “person under investigation” form will be
filled out for anyone who is symptomatic and the
results can be shared with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) and
the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
“The hospitals have been great in helping
us prepare for this,” Hittson said. “We don’t
want people just showing up at the emergency room or doctor’s office. Anyone who
is symptomatic should call the health department and let us tell them the next step
to take. If we choose not to quarantine a patient, it can be overridden by the state. They
have final say.”
Hittson says the health department is being
inundated with phone calls daily regarding the
coronavirus from schools, businesses and private
citizens alike.
State and county officials are currently working to direct coronavirus inquiries to the existing
poison control phone number and if call volume
continues to increase, they plan to utilize the 211
system.
A dedicated phone line is already in place at the
health department if the need arises.
Information
County officials were expected to take part in
a conference call Tuesday afternoon with state
health officials and Missouri Gov. Mike Parson,
who is receiving updates from Vice President
Mike Pence and the federal task forces dealing
with the virus.
Brinker, Cook and Hittson will continue to hold
daily meetings with any other applicable county
staff and agencies while the coronavirus is threatening.
Hittson encourages all residents, schools, businesses, civic, church groups or anyone with questions to refer to the websites of the CDC (cdc.gov)
and the DHSS (health.mo.gov).
Additional information on coronavirus and
its effects on Franklin County can be found on
the county health department’s Facebook page
as well (facebook.com/Franklin-County-HealthDepartment).

Street are not ADA compliant, Nilges said.
The project carries
an estimated price tag
of $1.5 million, he said.
The city’s share is estimated at $298,985.
Nilges said the sidewalk component was a
big key in getting the
grant funding.
“Any time you can
add to your sidewalk
network, it does make
you more successful in
getting those asphalt
project grants,” he said.
With the agreement
in place, the city will
move forward with hiring a consultant. According to the project
schedule, the city will
have a public hearing/
meeting on the project
in early 2021.
Plans will be developed in 2021 as well.
Right-of-way
acquisition will begin in late
2021 through early
2022.
The bidding process

***
William L. Miller, Sr.
Editor/Publisher
Susan Miller Warden
Managing Editor
Jeanne Miller Wood
Associate Editor,
Photo Editor
Joe Barker
Assistant Managing Editor
Cheryl Hamilton
Chief Financial Officer

Franklin County Republican
Central Committee

Annual Lincoln
Day Banquet

***
Periodicals postage paid at Washington, MO 63090.

Friday, March 27

POSTMASTER: Send address
changes to The Washington Missourian, P.O. Box 336, Washington, MO 63090.

Social hour: 6 p.m.
Dinner and program: 7 p.m.
Dinner tickets: $35 p.p.
Deadline to purchase tickets is
March 20
Washington Elks Lodge

***
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Call 636-239-7701 or 1-888-239-7701
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For residents of Franklin County:
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WWW.EMISSOURIAN.COM

1459 West 5th Street • Washington, MO 63090

Master of Ceremonies:
Kirk Matthews
Speakers and Distinguished
Guests Include:
Governor Mike Parson
And Other Elected Officials.
Gun raffle to be held night of
dinner. Dinner and gun raffle
tickets can be purchased from
committee members or by calling
Trish Mitchell at (636) 667-9273.
Paid for by Franklin County Republican Central Committee

should start in late
2022 with a contract
awarded in early 2023.
Work is set to begin in
summer 2023.
Westlink Drive
The Westlink Drive
project is much simpler.
Plans calls for a 2-inch
overlay of the street
and a new right turn
lane from Westlink onto
Bluff Road.
“It’s a skewed turn
lane,”
Nilges
said.
“We’re not necessarily adding a turn lane,
but we’re improving the
turning geometrics on
that. We’ll be doing that
in house.”
The
project
carries as estimated price
tag of $547,750. The
city’s share would be
$109,550.
The project is expected to follow the same
schedule as the Jefferson Street work.
“It’s two good projects
that cost 20 cents on the
dollar,” Nilges said.

SCHOOL
CONTINUED FROM 1A

ters for Disease Control)
recommendations and
will continue to follow
our health, sanitation
and safety protocols.
“If we receive any
word of a case in our
area or our schools, or
if we receive any guidance from county, state
or federal health professionals, we will certainly share that with
our staff, students and
parents,” VanLeer said.
Cleaning
Borgia High Principal Pam Tholen said
the school is taking
several steps to keep
the campus as clean as
possible.
“We are working
with our cleaning company, FKI, to ramp
up the cleaning of the
high-touch areas like
handrails and bathroom fixtures,” she
said.
“Furthermore,
teachers have been
provided with sanitizing wipes, and additional hand sanitizer
stations have been installed.
“Right now, it appears that those at
highest risk for serious
complications are older
people and those with
underlying
medical
conditions,” said Tholen, noting the high
school has a teacher
and student battling
cancer.
All school officials
stressed that if a student is sick, they
should stay home from
school.
“We understand that
many of our students
prioritize school over
their health and may
be anxious about days
absent from school,”
Tholen said. “Rest assured that we will
work with you in situations of extended absences when it comes
to students’ health.”
Tholen
said
the
school is in contact with
Saint Louis University
regarding any attendance issues for 1818
dual credit courses.
“In these worrisome
times, communication
is key,” she said. “Our
school
community’s
health and wellness
are of the utmost importance to us.”
MSHSAA Responds
VanLeer said MSHSAA (Missouri State
High School Activities
Association) released
a statement March 9
saying in part, “We
have contacted the
Missouri Health Department and at this
time, there are no restrictions or requirements to stop activities
with large groups of
people. We are developing contingency plans
for the possible effects
of school closures on
the state playoffs, your
spring sport practices

and/or contests, and
are monitoring COVID-19 developments
closely.”
Local
parochial
schools, in conjunction
with the Archdiocese of
St. Louis, sent out letters and stressed they
are taking every precaution to ensure that
schools are cleaned
thoroughly each night
and students are monitored.
“We urge families to
continue to maintain
healthy habits as we
do during any cold and
flu season,” said Our
Lady of Lourdes Principal Ann Joyce.
School officials said
if a student or other immediate family
member is symptomatic of COVID-19, the
health
department
should be contacted
and officials will give
them information regarding potential testing and the need to
self-quarantine.
With spring break
approaching for many
schools, families who
plan to travel are advised to check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) link for travel
guidelines and the latest updates on areas
with confirmed cases
of COVID-19.
Officials from all of
the schools also shared
fact sheets about coronavirus and tips. These
include:
• Avoiding
close
contact with people
who are sick;
• Washing
your
hands often with soap
and water for at least
20 seconds;
• Using an alcoholbased hand sanitizer
that contains at least
60 percent alcohol if
soap and water are not
available;
• Staying
home
when you are sick;
• Covering
your
cough or sneeze with a
tissue, then throwing
the tissue in the trash;
and
• Cleaning and disinfecting
frequently
touched objects and
surfaces.
People can seek out
additional
information on COVID-19 and
the current outbreak
on the CDC’s website: https://www.cdc.
gov/coronavirus/2019nCoV/index.html.
School officials said
parents should check
the website frequently
for the most up-to-date
information.
“While this entire
situation is very unsettling, it’s helpful
to know we are all in
this together,” Tholen
said. “I ask you to join
me in praying for the
St. Louis area schools
which have been impacted by the recent
diagnosis.”

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