Clay County reports first COVID-19 death

Clay County Public Health Center reports first coronavirus death in Clay County Monday, April 6.

CLAY COUNTY — The Public Health Center reports the first death of a Clay County resident due to COVID-19 today, Monday, April 6. The resident was a 64-year-old female who tested positive for COVID-19 on March 25. The case was not related to travel.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the first death of a Clay County resident due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Director of Public Health Gary E. Zaborac. “The health department extends our deepest sympathy to her family and friends.”

As of April 6, Clay County has 35 positive confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the Clay County Public Health reporting jurisdiction while the Kansas City Health Department, which records cases in Kansas City city limits inside Clay County, reports an additional 45 positive cases in Clay County including an additional death, states a CCPHC release.

On March 22, Clay County Public Health Center joined other areas in the region in implementing stay-at-home orders for all who live and work in Clay County, beginning March 24 and lasting until April 24. The state followed last week with a statewide stay-home ordered that took effect today and ends April 24.

"In addition to staying at home unless absolutely necessary, the health department continues to urge the public to take other important actions at this time to prevent the further spread of COVID-19," states the public health release.

Actions include washing hands well and often, cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces and objects, keeping 6 feet away from others when outside the home and wearing a reusable cloth mask when in public.

Additionally, if sick, the center states people should isolate at home to prevent the spread of germs and only leave to seek medical care.

"If you experience symptoms such as cough, fever, or other respiratory problems, call a health care provider or urgent care clinic to receive guidance and arrange a test if appropriate. Do not go to the emergency room unless you are having trouble breathing and need immediate medical attention," states the release.

During Monday's press briefing, Gov. Mike Parson announced signing an executive order to suspend a statutory requirement that a notary must conduct the notarization of official documents while the signer appears personally in front of them.

As requested by Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft, the order allows for the use of audio-video technology to complete the personal appearance requirement, "protecting the health and safety of both notaries public as well as Missourians who otherwise would have been required to have close contact with the notary," states a release on the order.

“It’s important for us in state government to work together to remove barriers to keep Missourians moving forward during this time,” Parson said. “We need to do everything we can to ensure Missourians can still safely enter into contracts, sign mortgages and update wills and personal health care directives without placing themselves or their notary at risk.”

For general questions about COVID-19, call the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services hotline at (877) 435-8411.