Joplin City Leaders address common questions concerning stay at home order

Joplin Area Coronavirus

JOPLIN, Mo. — The Joplin Mayor issued a stay at home order earlier today.

But how will it be enforced, who does this affect, are the police going to stop us, am I considered an essential employee?

All questions we got the answers to.

Joplin Mayor Gary Shaw said, “This morning I signed a stay at home ordinance that will go into effect Monday April the sixth at 12:01 AM.”

There will be some changes in Joplin on Monday because of this order.

“We have not had any surge in cases of the virus.”

After listening to residents and a lot of serious conversations, the Mayor decided to sign the order.

“This is just an action that we consider to be a proactive measure for 14 days for us to try and control the spreading of the COVID virus in our community.”

So what does that mean for you? Are you going to get pulled over on your way to the grocery store?

Joplin Police Chief Sloan Rowland said, “We won’t be out enforcing that, you won’t see us out stopping cars or setting up checkpoints or anything like that.”

And this isn’t martial law or some lock-down.

“No there is no curfew, martial law hasn’t been declared, this is similar to other orders you’ve seen around the area in the Four State Region.”

It means only leave the house if you absolutely need to, for work, for groceries, medical care or other essential things.

“The only way this stay-at-home ordinance is effective is if you and me as citizens do what were being told and to do those things that we’re being asked,” said Shaw.

But, if you’re caught violating the order, it will be considered creating a menace to the public and you could face legal punishment.

“It’s an ordinance just like any other ordinance and we have a right to enforce that for public safety and we will do that,” said Rowland.

Chief Rowland trusts residents to be safe.

“The residents of Joplin are very responsible, they’ve been dealing with the 10 number quite well, we haven’t had that many calls and the ones that we’ve had we’ve been able to disperse without that much enforcement action, we’re not going to be driving around checking if they have a piece of paper that says they’re essential, that’s not what we’re going to be doing.”

There is a long list of essential businesses that will still be able to operate.

But gyms, hair and nail salons and other stores will have to close.

“We will get through this, and there will be life after this, just do what we have to do now,” said Shaw.

City Manger Nick Edwards said, “I know this was a decision that wasn’t rushed into, and it was a decision made with the care and concern for Joplin residents.”

Joplin city leaders are adamant, there is no reason to panic.

And there is especially no reason to rush to local grocery stores.

But i’m sure you still have questions about what this ordinance means.

We’ve got a full list of essential businesses as well as some frequently asked questions below.

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