Wednesday COVID-19 Coverage: Hy-Vee announces appreciation bonus, new protective leave benefits
COLUMBIA - As COVID-19 spreads, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts on the community.
Live updates will become available for Wednesday, March 25 below:
8:34 p.m.: Hy-Vee announces appreciation bonus, new protective leave benefits
In a release Hy-Vee said they are giving a front line appreciation bonus of 10 percent to all store employees.
The Bonus will be added to all hours worked from March 16 to April 12.
Hy-Vee also announced new benefits that offer protective leave for employees who test positive for COVID-19 or are required to self-quarantine. This benefit will provide job protection for a minimum of two weeks.
The release continued stating employees with short-term disability can receive a minimum of two weeks paid time off under this benefit.
"Our employees are our most valuable asset, and we must do everything we can to support them and their families during this critical time," Randy Edeker, Hy-Vee's chairman of the board, CEO and president said.
5:30 p.m.: First confirmed case in Montgomery County
The Montgomery County Health Department has confirmed the county's first case of COVID-19.
The department is now working on investigating the case's close contacts to prevent the potential for spread.
5:10 p.m.: 2 more confirmed cases in Boone County
The number of positive cases of COVID-19 has increased to 24 in Boone County, according to the city of Columbia.
5:00 p.m.: Stephens College will remain closed
In a news release the college announced it will remain closed for the rest of the spring semester. It said it is remaining closed because of the stay-at-home orders Columbia has posted.
4:30 p.m.: DHSS updates confirmed cases
Missouri now has 356 confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to DHSS.
On Tuesday, the number of confirmed cases was 255.
3:30 p.m.: Cole County issues advisory to stay home
"Therefore at this time, it is highly recommended that all individuals remain at home as much as possible to help decrease the spread of this infection," according to a news release on Monday.
Click the link above to read the full document.
One of the ten William Woods University students that tested positive for COVID-19 visited a South Callaway Early Childhood building before testing positive.
The student was completing an observation assignment on Tuesday, March 17, according to a news release from South Callaway R-II School District.
The student then tested positive for COVID-19 on Monday, March 23. According to the release, the original date of exposure for the student is unknown.
2:50 p.m.: Flat Branch Pub & Brewing selling toilet paper
Flat Branch has a limited supply of Giant Commercial Toilet Paper Rolls we're not using while our dining room is closed. These babies are HUGE: 1000 feet, around 3000 sheets, equal to approximately 12-18 standard rolls. Add one to your carry out order for $5 while they last. pic.twitter.com/UpZJkuyXmd— FlatBranchPubandBrew (@FlatBranchPub) March 25, 2020
Gov. Mike Parson now says the COVID-19 pandemic has reached a level of severity that state and local governments are not able to effectively respond.
Parson announced Wednesday he has filed a request with President Donald Trump asking for approval of a major disaster declaration for Missouri, according to a news release from the governor’s press office. The request was filed late Tuesday.
"The COVID-19 pandemic has already had a devastating effect on the state of Missouri, straining hospitals, healthcare facilities and nursing homes, businesses large and small, schools, and tens of thousands of Missourians who have been forced out of their jobs," Parson said in the statement.
10:20 a.m.: Westminster College to waive ACT, SAT requirements
Westminster College in Fulton will not require ACT or SAT scores for Fall 2020 applicants. This comes after the nationwide cancellation of the May 2 SAT and the postponement of the April ACT amid COVID-19 worries.
The college announced it will guarantee merit-based scholarships of those currently affected by the COVID-19 campus closure, according to a statement from the school. As long as students remain in good academic standing and return to campus next fall, they will keep their merit-based aid.
10:00 a.m.: Randolph County issues stay-at-home order
The order starts Wednesday and runs through April 24. Essential businesses can remain open and people are allowed to leave their homes for essential things like food, medical supplies and doctor appointments.
Restaurants can remain open as long as they offer only carry-out and delivery. Gatherings of more than 10 people, including weddings or funerals, are not allowed under the order.
Violating the order is a class-A misdemeanor and comes with a punishment of up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Families receiving SNAP benefits will not have to renew their certifications during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Missouri Department of Social Services Family Services Division announced in a news release Tuesday.
For families who are due for SNAP recertification in March, April or May, benefits will be automatically extended for six months, the release said.
The department is also waiving work requirements for able-bodied adults without dependents until the end of the COVID-19 federal emergency declaration.