New COVID-19 cases cause shutdowns at businesses, schools

Just as activities were starting back up at area school districts, reports of COVID-19 positive cases among some students has caused some to issue a two-week shutdown of all activities. The increase in cases is having an effect on several local businesses as well.

The Harrisonville School District discontinued all activities effective Monday and included all athletic and extracurricular events as well as the use of all indoor athletic facilities.

Sherwood Superintendent Steve Ritter issued a statement July 10 saying all school athletics and student activities are cancelled until further notice.

The Pleasant Hill School District has also suspended summer activities. Officials at Adrian, Archie, Midway and RayPec all indicated on Tuesday they had made no plans to suspend activities.

Harrisonville Superintendent Paul Mensching made the call last Friday noting the district was aware of multiple student participants across multiple activities having been tested or potentially exposed to COVID-19. The results of the tested students are still pending, but the school district decided a shutdown was the best way to approach the issue.

The school is working with the Cass County Health Department to take corrective measures in handling the potential cases. The health department will conduct a tracing protocol to determine the origins of the outbreak.

They will contact anybody who needs to quarantine for the recommended 14 days.

The district will use the two-week shutdown to disinfect and sanitize all areas and equipment. The shutdown also allows the health department to conduct its tracing protocol and for test results to be processed.

It is believed many of the COVID-19 cases may be related to a party July 3 at a home located between Harrisonville and Garden City. According to a release from the Cass County Health Department there was initially five reported cases from the party, but that number has grown as more testing has been done. As of Tuesday afternoon 21 cases were believed to be a result of the party.

The event did not have a specified guest list so identifying those that were in attendance and possibly exposed to COVID -19 has been challenging.

In a statement, the health department said, “This statement is being released so individuals who attended the party are aware of the possible exposure. It is imperative that any individuals who attended this gathering quarantine at home for 14 days and monitor for symptoms. After being exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, it can take up to 14 days to develop symptoms. If symptoms appear, individuals are advised to contact their primary care providers. If symptomatic attendees are unable to contact their primary care provider or need assistance in getting tested, they should contact the Cass County Health Department at 816-673-4618.”

The health department held a special screening on Tuesday afternoon where 135 party attenders were tested.

As of Tuesday afternoon, the health department was reporting 267 cases of the Coronavirus in Cass County. Of that number, 55 have been reported in Harrisonville.

Reportedly, several businesses have been affected by the disease’s spread. The Harrisonville Sonic has been closed for a deep cleaning and the owners are taking advantage of the shutdown to have some routine maintenance performed. According to a statement released by Sonic last Friday, the business was slated to re-open Tuesday, but on Monday the company issued another statement saying the store will be closed the remainder of the week.

Casey’s on West Mechanic Street in Harrisonville has been closed twice in recent weeks and Golden Classics Jewelry is in the midst of a 14-day shutdown as a precaution.

Tuesday afternoon Eric’s Rockin’ C in Garden City announced it was closing. It may reopen for curbside service in the near future.

There have been reports of other businesses closing, but confirmation was not available.

With the soaring numbers the health department is again reminding the public to take precautions. The health department recommends maintaining social distancing, washing your hands frequently and staying home if you are feeling ill.

The use of personal protective equipment is also recommended.