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HARRISONVILLE - The Cass County Health Department ordered today that all restaurants, dining facilities, bars, taverns, clubs and movie theaters close effective midnight tonight, and that public gatherings of more than 10 people are prohibited.

The order is in effect until April 1, but may be extended, supplemented or modified "as required for the effective and efficient management and control of the COVID-19 pandemic in Cass County" by further order or direction of the Cass County Commission or the Cass County Health Department Director, according to today's order, signed by Andrew Warlen, Cass County Health Director.

The order specified that dining and food establishments may continue to provide carryout, drive-through and delivery food and beverage service. It also exempted governmental and judicial functions, daycare facilities, grocery stores, pharmacies, healthcare facilities, private business operations, religions and faith-based activities, weddings and funerals from it's more-than-10 gathering ban.

"A 'gathering' does not include normal operations at spaces where persons may be in transit or coming and going individually or in groups of less than 10 persons," the order said.

The order comes on the heels of Monday's discovery of a presumptive case of COVID-19 in Drexel.

"It is appropriate and necessary to take quick action to reduce the possibility of exposure to COVID-19," the order said.

It is authorized by Cass County Code 210, under which the Health Department director is "authorized to take certain actions to enhance public health and prevent and mitigate the entrance of communicable diseases into the county," the order said.

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