March 20 blog: Missouri reports 3rd COVID-19 death, 73 total cases

Posted at 5:51 AM, Mar 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-20 23:48:39-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to spread across the world, and in Missouri and Kansas.

41 Action News is keeping track of all closings and cancellations, as well as tracking where positive coronavirus cases are located.

Updates on the spread of the virus and how it is affecting the metro can be found below for March 20.

Previous coverage:
Monday, March 16
Tuesday, March 17
Wednesday, March 18
Thursday, March 19

9:29 p.m. | The Y is offering childcare services for essential employees, who must work but whose kids are now home due to school closures, beginning Monday, March 23. Scholarships are available for first responders and health care workers.

There will be screening measures at all emergency childcare locations, including:

  • Curbside check-in/out of children
  • Temporal scans of children to check for fever
  • Small-group structure
  • Mandatory hygiene breaks

More details are available on the Kansas City YMCA website, which is also where parents can register and find more information.

Only ages 5 to 12 are permitted. The service runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and costs $150 per week.

8:48 p.m. | Missouri now reports 73 confirmed COVID-19 cases, according to updated figures Friday from the Department for Health and Senior Services.

8:10 p.m. | Three major Kansas City-area civic organizations — the Civic Council of Greater Kansas City, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce and the Kansas City Area Development Council — are urging Missouri Gov. Mike Parson to take more action to fight the spread of COVID-19.

The groups asked the governor in a letter released Friday to limit all gatherings and events in the state to no more than 10 people with proper social distancing, close all schools until health officials advise it's safe to reopen them and order all restaurants and bars in Missouri to provide only take-out or delivery service or close.

The three civic groups also ask the governor to strongly urge Missourians avoid all non-essential activities and practice social distancing until its safe to resume normal activities.

7:39 p.m. | All Duluth Trading Company stores nationwide, including the Independence location, are closing until further notice.

7:02 p.m. | Wyandotte County Public Health Department Chief Medical Officer Allen Griener issued an order that removes exemptions for religious and faith-based activities, weddings, and funerals from the prohibition on public gatherings of 10 or more people.

Delivery, pickup and drive-thru food service are still permitted. The only remaining exceptions are for governmental and judicial functions, health care facilities and private business operations, according to a statement from the Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas.

6:47 p.m. | St. Louis NBC affiliate KSDK-TV reports that a St. Louis County woman in her 60s has become the state's third death attributed to COVID-19. The woman is reported to have had prior health conditions.

6:25 p.m. | Mayor Eileen Weir announced Friday that all body care services in Independence will be prohibited starting next week.

That includes any services involving physical contact at hair salons, nail salons, barber shops, tattoo and piercing shops, and massage providers. Retail sales at those businesses will be permitted. The ban will be in effect until at least March 31.

6:24 p.m. | Two University of Missouri employees have tested positive for COVID-19, the university announced early Friday evening.

A university spokesperson said the two employees have quarantined themselves and are recovering at home with the help of doctors.

“We are appreciative that these individuals have taken the proper actions by immediately self-quarantining, following directions from health officials and staying away from others,” UM System President Mun Choi said in a release.

6:23p.m. | A member of the Missouri House of Representatives has tested positive for COVID-19, house leadership announced Friday.

In a statement, house leaders say employees of the capitol should stay out for the next 10 days.

6:20 p.m. | Whiteman Air Force Base announced that the 2020 Wings Over Whiteman Air and Space Show, which had been scheduled for June 13-14, is canceled.

6:15 p.m. | Two new COVID-19 cases have been reported in Cass County, Missouri, pushing the state total to 60.

6 p.m. | If you haven't had a chance already, we're compiling a list of grocery store hours across the metro.

5:26 p.m. | The Shawnee Mission School District will begin allowing srudents into its buildings at prearranged times to retrieve personal items beginning Thursday, March 26.

5:21 p.m. | Hy-Vee is looking to hire temporary, part-time hourly employees at multiple positions across its eight-state region as grocery demand surges amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Positions include restocking, cleaning and sanitizing. Visit the company website to apply.

4:50 p.m. | Walmart announced plans to hire an additional 150,000 associates through the end of May, including 4,300 associates in Missouri and 3,600 in Kansas. To apply, visits or text "jobs" to 240240.

4:40 p.m. | The Kansas City, Missouri Health Department reported five additional COVID-19 cases Friday afternoon, pushing the city's total to 12.

4:25 p.m. | Leavenworth County has reported two new cases of COVID-19. There are now four cases in the county and 47 in Kansas.

4:15 p.m. | KC Water will close its customer lobby at 5 p.m. Friday and the Household Hazardous Waste Facility at 4 p.m. Saturday until further notice. Field crews will continue to make water, sewer and stormwater main repairs. Beginning Monday, some employees will work from home, which may impact customer response and resolution times.

3:55 p.m. | Goodwill of Western Missouri and Eastern Kansas will temporarily close all stores and donation centers effective Saturday, March 21, until further notice. The closure impacts all 15 area retail stores, an outlet store and two donation centers. Donations will no longer be accepted.

3:50 p.m. | Hallmark Cards says it will temporarily close two Kansas manufacturing facilities and one in Texas in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

3:45 p.m. | Blue Valley schools announced a meal-distribution plan while schools are closed by order of Kansas Gov. Lara Kelly. Beginning Tuesday, March 24, free grab-and-go breakfasts and lunches will be available at four district locations:

  • Blue Valley Acdemy, 7500 W. 149th Terrace
  • Overland Trail Middle School, 6201 W. 133rd St.
  • Oxford Middle School, 12500 Switzer Road
  • Indian Valley Elementary, 11600 Knox St.

For more information, including what food will be distributed, visit the Blue Valley district website.

3:41 p.m. | Ball's Food Stores is adjusting its store closing times temporarily to allow for additional cleaning, sanitizing and restocking. All stores will now close at 8 p.m.

The stores will continue to open at the normal times, but shoppers are ask to reserve the first hour for elderly customers and people with a disability. Here are the stores affected and the new hours:

  • Hen House Market Fairway, 2724 W. 53rd St., Fairway, 6 a.m.– 8 p.m.
  • Hen House Market Parallel, 8120 Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, Kansas, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Hen House Market Leawood, 11721 Roe Ave., Leawood, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Hen House Market Lenexa, 15000 W. 87th St., Lenexa, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Hen House Market Blackbob, 13600 S. Blackbob, Olathe, 6 a.m.–8 p.m.
  • Hen House Market College Boulevard, 11930 College Blvd., Overland Park, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Hen House Market Deer Creek, 6900 W. 135th St., Overland Park, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Hen House Market at Corinth Square, 4050 W. 83rd St, Prairie Village, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Hen House Market Village Market, 6950 Mission Road, Prairie Village, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Pay Less Discount Foods, 2101 E. Santa Fe St., Olathe, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Price Chopper Grandview, 12220 S. U.S. 71, Grandview, 6 a.m.–8 p.m.
  • Price Chopper Harrisonville, 520 S. Commercial St., Harrisonville, 6 a.m.– 8 p.m.
  • Price Chopper Kansas City, 8430 Wornall Road, Kansas City, Missouri, 7 a.m.–8 p.m.
  • Price Chopper Kansas City, 9550 Blue Ridge Blvd., Kansas City, Missouri, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Price Chopper Kansas City, 7600 State Avenue, Kansas City, Kansas, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Price Chopper Kansas City, 4820 N. Oak Traiffcway, Kansas City, Missouri, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Price Chopper Kansas City, 500 N.E. Barry Road, Kansas City, Missouri, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Price Chopper Leavenworth, 2107 S. 4th Street, Leavenworth, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Price Chopper Lee's Summit, 1600 S.E. Blue Parkway, Lee's Summit, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Price Chopper Olathe, 15970 S Mur-Len Road, Olathe, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Price Chopper Overland Park, 7000 W. 75th St., Overland Park, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Price Chopper Roeland Park, 4950 Roe Ave., Roeland Park, 6 a.m. -8 p.m.
  • Price Chopper Shawnee, 12010 W. 63rd St., Shawnee, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Sun Fresh Calle 18, 241 S. 18 St., Kansas City, Kansas, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Sun Fresh Red Bridge, 11212 Holmes Road, Kansas City, Missouri, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.
  • Sun Fresh Shawnee Drive, 3803 S. 47th StreetSt., Kansas City, Kansas, 7 a.m.-8 p.m.

3:15 p.m. | Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said he plans to issue an order this weekend to initiate social distancing statewide by limiting gatherings to 10 or fewer people.

Parson emphasized the order is not for the purpose of closing businesses, but placing restrictions on the number of people who can occupy a place.

“We’re not going to prevent people from going to businesses across the state,” Parson said. “It’s going to come down to personal responsibility.”

3:13 p.m. | United Community Services of Johnson County staff will work remotely until further notice. Office hours from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays have not changed, but the office is closed to the public and staff are only reachable by phone or email.

3:05 p.m. | Oak Park Mall in Overland Park says some stores and restaurants are following corporate or owner guidelines for temporary closures and modified hours. The mall has canceled all of its events, including the Easter photo program, and temporarily closed the food court seating area and children's play area.

2:45 p.m. | The Kansas Department for Children and Families will close its service centers beginning Monday, March 23. Some core services, including the Kansas Protection Report Center and foster care operations, will continue during the shutdown.

2:30 p.m. | Jackson County has reported the first death in the county related to COVID-19. County officials say the patient was a woman in her 80s who had not recently traveled.

1:40 p.m. | Johnson County has provided a breakdown of COVID-19 cases by age. According to the county data, the age groups with the highest number — five patients each — are 40-49; 50-59; and 70-79 years old. One person between the ages of 10 and 19 has contracted the virus. See the full breakdown here.

12:08 p.m. | Every North Kansas City School District student will receive free lunch during the two-week closure of the schools. Meals will be delivered at bus stops between 9 a.m. and noon on week days, or can be picked up at the high schools from 1-3 p.m. Parents can see more details in PowerSchool.

The district is also working to make sure every student has internet access in their home so that they can use e-learning during the closure.

12:01 p.m. | Johnson County, Kansas, reported eight more cases Friday, bringing the county total to 24.

11:55 a.m. | Cerner has expanded their remote work operations through April 30.

11:46 a.m. | Boone County, Missouri, reported five additional COVID-19 cases, bringing the county's total to eight.

11:35 a.m. | The Kansas City Board of Public Utilities will close its lobby until further notice in order to reduce the risk of exposure for customers and employees. Those who typically pay their bills in person can pay online at or call 1-855-278-2455.

11:15 a.m. | The Kansas Department of Health and Environment says tap water remains safe to drink during the COVID-19 pandemic. "Kansans can and should continue to use and drink water from their tap as usual as COVID-19 is not present in drinking water supplies," KDHE says.

10:30 a.m. | Saint Luke's Health System has opened two COVID-19 drive-thru testing sites for patients and employees referred by Saint Luke's physicians. A third site will open soon in Overland Park.

9:25 a.m. | Missouri has now confirmed 47 cases of COVID-19 in the state. See the most up-to-date tallies for both Missouri and Kansas here.

9:20 a.m. | The Loews Kansas City Hotel says it will postpone its opening date because of local guidelines and mandates in place for the COVID-19 response. The hotel had been set to open April 2.

9:15 a.m. | National Tax Day has been moved from April 15 to July 15 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

8:27 a.m. | The City of Raymore, Missouri, has closed their City Hall building. Water bills can still be payed at the City Hall drop box. All other services can be contacted via phone.

8:24 a.m. | Kansas City-based Taking Bids Fundraising will be helping nonprofits continue fundraising efforts online. The company will help nonprofits of any size conduct the virtual fundraisers.

8:03 a.m. | Scripps suspended their annual National Spelling Bee due to the spread of COVID-19. IT will be rescheduled at a later date if possible.

5:52 a.m. | One of the Cole County, Missouri, COVID-19 cases has been identified as a Mizzou student who returned from studying abroad in Europe.

5:49 a.m. | Spring Hill USD 230 will begin serving sack lunches on Tuesday. They tweeted out information about the pickup options Thursday. Students will receive a lunch and a breakfast for the following day.

5:47 a.m. | The City of Belton, Missouri, has its first positive case of COVID-19. The person is one of the four cases that have been identified in Cass County.

5:30 a.m. | Several grocery stores are planning to install protective screens for their cashiers. The plastic barrier would run the length of the counter and help prevent the spread of germs from the customer to the employee.

Some stores are also planning to put a ban on the use of personal shopping bags, since they often carry germs. That will last throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.