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Health department says attorney general’s order ‘greatly affects’ its ability to stop the spread of COVID

The Jasper County Health Department announces that it has ceased all COVID-19 orders at this time because of an order from the Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office.

“While our agency remains determined to protect the health of our county residents, please understand this ruling greatly affects how we will be able to proceed and stop the spread of COVID,” said Tony Moehr, administrator of the Jasper County Health Department.

“We will, however, continue our efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 by contacting individuals who test positive for COVID-19, as well as their potential contacts, and offering recommendations per CDC guidelines,” added Moehr.

For county residents who have been, or will be diagnosed with COVID-19 and require quarantine information, the department recommends visiting the CDC website (www.cdc.gov) to learn how to protect themselves, their households, and workplaces.

On Dec. 7, 2021, the county health department and other Local Public Health Agencies across the state received a letter from Schmitt regarding a Nov. 22, 2021, court ruling (Robinson vs Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, 20AC-CC00515). In this ruling, a Cole County Circuit Court Judge removed the authority given to the state and local public health agencies for quarantine. Rather than appeal the decision, Schmitt is upholding this local court ruling and has informed LPHAs that “You should stop enforcing and publicizing any such orders immediately.”

Here are links to Missouri Independent’s reporting on the matter:

Missouri judge strikes down local health officials’ power to impose COVID-19 orders

Missouri health director wanted to appeal judge’s COVID ruling. AG Schmitt refused

Missouri Attorney General tells schools, health departments to end COVID orders

Missouri schools must comply with COVID ruling to win treasurer approval of bond deals

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