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Posted on: March 17, 2020

Perry County issues joint statement regarding Covid-19

March 17, 2020: 11:30 am

Following the most current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Missouri Governor Mike Parson, dated March 15, the Perry County Health Department, Perry County Commission and leadership from the City of Perryville offer the following statement regarding mass gatherings or large community events in relation to COVID-19:

“As a preventative measure in order to protect the most vulnerable members of our community, and in accordance with the CDC’s updated guidance, our local administration strongly urges the cancellation or suspension of public mass gatherings of 50 or more individuals for the next 8 weeks,” said Perry County Presiding Commissioner Mike Sauer. 

In Governor Mike Parson’s March 15 release, he encouraged local government and health agencies to impart guidance to their communities to “protect our elderly citizens and those with underlying medical conditions.”

The CDC’s updated guidance on March 15th stated, “Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals.

Therefore, the CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.

Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing.  When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual.

This recommendation does not apply to the day to day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses. This recommendation is made in an attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus.  This recommendation is not intended to supersede the advice of local public health officials.”

Sylvia Forester, Director of the Perry County Health Department remains cautiously optimistic that should Perry County residents follow the suggested guidelines we can greatly reduce the impact of COVID-19 on the community. 

“The Perry County Health Department looks to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the CDC, the leading state and national public health experts, to inform decision making and recommendations on a local level. The situation is ever changing. As recommendations and guidance from these experts change, so may our recommendations. Keep in mind this is a preventative measure.” said Forester. “The decisions for these recommendations are not made lightly. As of March 17, Perry County has NO positive cases of COVID-19. Everyone will play a role in helping to protect our community and our most vulnerable populations. We cannot express enough to properly wash your hands, disinfect regularly, stay home if you are sick, and practice safe distancing; putting space between yourself and others even if they are not sick, in order to reduce illness transmission.”

Perryville Mayor Ken Baer expressed faith in the community as a whole. “The USA is blessed by our Creator as a beacon of freedom and strength to the world,” he said. “Through our faith and fortitude, we will overcome this crisis.  We will work together and care for one another.”  

For direct link to Governor Mike Parson’s messages to Missourians visit:

For more information regarding COVID-19 and CDC guidance for local response, visit:

For Missouri specific information, visit the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services at

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