COVID-19 Timeline

The following is a timeline of national and regional events related to the novel coronavirus pandemic. Information is updated as details become available.

Monday, May 18

Due to concerns over public gatherings and social distancing guidelines in light of COVID-19, Kearney city leaders cancel Kearney Amphitheater's 2020 schedule as well as the annual July 3 fireworks celebration.

Gov. Mike Parson announces plans to expand COVID-19 testing at facilities where people are in close contact.  "As we do this, it is important to remember that the more tests we do, the more positive cases there will be," he said, cautioning against reading too far into those numbers because not all people who test positive are hospitalized. State officials say long-term care facilities where there have been positive tests will be asked to test all residents and staff members.

Missouri records overall total to date of 10,945 cases of COVID-19, according to Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Number up by 156 from 10,789 on Sunday, May 17, a 1.5% increase. Deaths increased from 594 to 605.

As of 4:30 p.m., the total to-date confirmed positive case count for COVID-19 in Clay County is 324. Of those, 120 are in Clay County Public Health's reporting jurisdiction. Rest are Kansas City residents reported by Kansas City Health Department. Death toll remains three. Of 829 tested at Clay County Public Health Center's mobile site in Liberty, 11 positive for positivity rate of 1.5%.

Sunday, May 17

Bill that would exempt Missourians from paying taxes on federal stimulus checks passed out of Missouri General Assembly and is headed to Gov. Mike Parson’s desk. Measure was amendment to previous tax-related bill sponsored by Platte County Republican Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer. 


Friday, May 15

As of 4:30 p.m. Friday, May 15, the total overall case count of those diagnosed with COVID-19 in Clay County was 309. The death toll, which has remained the same for weeks, stands at three. According to a recently added feature tracking case status on the Clay County Public Health tracing dashboard, available online at, of the total case count, 113 cases are those who live outside Kansas City in the county. Of the 113, 46 are isolated; 59 have been released from isolation, meaning they are recovering; one died; and seven have unknown case statuses.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported Friday  576 deaths have been attributed to COVID-19 in the state and there are 10,456 confirmed cases since the outbreak started, 139 of which were reported Friday.

Phase No. 1 of Kansas City's 10/10/10 Plan begins, allowing buildings and businesses that service the public to reopen with 10% building occupancy or 10 people allowed inside a business, whichever is greater. Sign-ins with contact information will be required for anyone who visits a business for more than 10 minutes. Social gatherings up to 10 people inside or 50 people outside are allowed.


Thursday, May 14

Missouri records 10,317 cases of COVID-19, according to Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Cases up 175 from 10,142 on Wednesday, May 13, a 1.7% increase. Deaths increase from 542 to 562.

Missouri State Parks announce phased reopening of campgrounds starting Monday, May 18. According to a release, the agency will accommodate existing campground reservations beginning at 3 p.m. and will accept new reservations starting Tuesday, May 26.

Business owners in Smithville tell Courier-Tribune they are excited and eager to be back open week after stay-home orders are lifted.

U.S. Department of Labor reports 2.98 million Americans file for new unemployment benefits week ending May 9. That's down 195,000 from the 3.17 million Americans who filed claims for week ending May 2.

Missouri casinos announce new opening date of June 1 after initial opening date of Friday, May 15, delayed due to worries about COVID-19.


Wednesday, May 13

NCAA’s recruiting calendar continues to evolve with extension of ban on all in-person recruiting activities through June 30.

Gov. Mike Parson announces series of testing priorities designed to detect and rapidly contain potential COVID-19 outbreaks. Between Missouri State Public Health Laboratory, 15 private national and in-state laboratories and participating health care institutions, approximately 60,000 tests can be performed in Missouri each week if needed. State currently conducting about 8,800 tests per day.

Missouri records 10,142 cases of COVID-19, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Cases up by 136 from 10,006 on Tuesday, May 12, a 1.4% increase. Deaths up from 524 to 542.

Missouri adults eligible to receive $1,200 or more from the coronavirus financial relief plan passed by Congress is 94.9%, representing 3,294,553 residents, according to an analysis by 24/7 Wall St.


Tuesday, May 12

Gov. Mike Parson's Office states 78,733 businesses in Missouri set to get total of $9.24 billion in Paycheck Protection Program assistance from Small Business Administration.

U.S. Department of Labor announces Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development to receive emergency grant of $1.3 million for COVID-19 recovery. The RecoverMO Humanitarian Work Grant will target dislocated workers from across state and provide temporary employment opportunities in humanitarian work such as grocery delivery, health care and contact tracing.

Liberty cancels Liberty Fest, annual Fourth of July holiday event, due to pandemic concerns.

Missouri records 10,006 cases of COVID-19, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Cases up by 88 from 9,918 on Monday, May 11. Deaths increase from 488 to 524.


Monday, May 11

As of 4:30 p.m., total confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Clay County residents at 279. Total includes 101 in Clay County Public Health Center's reporting jurisdiction and 178 in Kansas City residents reported by Kansas City Health Department. According to a counter on Clay County Public Health Center's website, this week has seen the highest spike in case counts since the week of April 12. The news comes as a full week passes since Clay County stay-home orders expired. A total of 1,698 tests have been conducted at mobile testing sites in Clay County. Of 544 performed by public health center, 9 have come back positive, according to county tracking dashboard.

According to state health data, cases of COVID-19 in Missouri stand at 9,918 with 488 deaths. Total of those tested in state approximately 121,296 as of 2 p.m.

According to Mid-America Regional Council's tracking dashboard at, there are 4,013 confirmed cases in nine counties around Kansas City metro area including Clay County. Counties tracked are: Cass, Clay, Jackson, Platte and Ray counties in Missouri; and Johnson, Leavenworth, Miami and Wyandotte counties in Kansas. According to tracker, total of 26,650 tests reported. As of 6 p.m., death total for nine-county reporting area 164. Dashboard reports 2,251 tested in Clay County with 2,150 negative results and 101 positives in Clay County Public Health's reporting jurisdiction.

Gov. Mike Parson says state struggles to acquire new test kits, but expects federal government to ship 15,000 kits in coming days. Missouri’s supply of tests for COVID-19 was nearly dry when state reopened for business last Monday.

Mid-Continent Public Library branches begin accepting returns of previously checked-out items through their book drops. Drops closed since branches shut down March 16.

Missouri to receive 4,000 vials of remdesivir to fight COVID-19 as part of a nationwide distribution. Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Director Randall Williams says drug to be used to treat 600 infected people.

Liberty business leaders and employees from around the Liberty Square like those at Whiteside Jewelry and Luigi's Italian restaurant say they are happy stay-home orders are lifted and their businesses can reopen for customers.


Sunday, May 10

According to Mid-America Regional Council's tracking dashboard at, there are an estimated cumulative 3,900 cases in nine counties around Kansas City metro area including Clay County. The total climbed an estimated 46 cases from the day prior.


Saturday, May 9

Westbrook Care Center on Platte-Clay Way in Kearney provides 21 elderly residents a chance to see their loved ones face to face while 6 feet apart during a Mother's Day weekend vehicle parade. For many, it was the first time seeing their loved ones in person in more than 40 days.

Dr. Anthony Fauci of the White House coronavirus task force begins "modified quarantine" after making "low risk" contact with White House staffer who tested positive for novel coronavirus.


Friday, May 8

As Ford’s North American parts depots resume full operations today, Ford officials say company targeting phased restart for North America operations including assembly plant in Claycomo beginning May 18. Plan includes restarting vehicle production in North America and bringing back  first wave of employees unable to do jobs remotely.

Smithville's class of 2020 begins car parade at noon honors seniors who had school year cut short and in-person graduation jeopardized due to pandemic.

Liberty High School seniors announce car parade for seniors May 17. Liberty North seniors announce plans for parade May 16.

Missouri Restaurant Association Education Foundation announces launch of Independent Restaurant Workers Relief Fund after a $1 million donation from the Kemper family foundations. Fund to support those who work for independent restaurants and been affected by COVID-19 pandemic.

Mid-Continent Public Library System announces library system will launch curbside service May 18, allowing customers to pick up materials they have placed on hold. Customers are asked to call their branch before and when they arrive and stay in their vehicles or maintain appropriate social distancing, as a library staff member brings their materials to them.


Thursday, May 7

As of 4:30 p.m., total confirmed cases of virus reported in Clay County at 250 with 163 in Kansas City and 87 elsewhere in county. Death toll remains three. Of cases elsewhere in county, Liberty most infected with 32 cases reported followed by Gladstone with 25, according to Clay County Public Health Center. Testing data for county shows 1,244 tested in county, with 447 tested at the mobile site in Liberty. Of those tested at the mobile site, 8 are positive.

Gov. Parson announces Pfizer’s Chesterfield facility is one of three Pfizer-owned sites in United States identified as an initial manufacturing center for COVID-19 vaccine production. Pfizer scaling up methods and processes at site that may be required to produce large volumes if vaccine approved.

CDC official says Trump Administration will not implement CDC's 17-page draft of recommendations for reopening the county. White House virus task force official tells media Trump's guidelines say states should take lead on opening their states.

U.S. Department of Labor reports 3.17 million Americans file for new unemployment benefits for week ending May 2, down 677,000 from previous week’s 3.85 million, but above numbers seen before coronavirus outbreak.

Missouri State Fair officials meeting to discuss if fair will happen in light of pandemic. Fair originally scheduled for Aug. 13 to 23, in Sedalia. “Right now, we will have a Plan A and a Plan B, to have a fair or maybe a shortened version of it,” Gov. Mike Parson said.


Wednesday, May 6

Liberty, Kearney and Smithville church leaders announce slow rollout for return to in-person church services throughout May. Kearney's Crossroads Community first to return this weekend on Sunday, May 10.

Missouri Department of Social Services announces changes to assistance programs with $66 million in funding from the federal CARES Act Child Care Plan. Providers who accept subsidies will receive payments based on authorized care instead of actual attendance during April, May and June.

Families in Liberty and Kansas City area of Clay County create Liberty/Liberty North/Northland Christian/St. Pius X Adopt A Senior 2020 Facebook group to help shower graduating students in area school districts with small gifts, signs and attention in light of pandemic cutting senior year short.

Gov. Mike Parson says Missouri will receive $66 million for child care assistance and $1.5 million for food banks under the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.

Missouri records 9,102 cases of COVID-19 as of Wednesday, May 6, according to Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. Cases up by 186 from 8,916 on Tuesday, May 5, a 2% increase. Deaths increased from 377 to 396.

Smithville High School seniors announce car parade for graduating students beginning at noon Friday, May 8, in light of senior year of school being moved to virtual learning due to pandemic.

Clay County Public Health Center says testing at free site at Pleasant Valley Baptist Church in Liberty for county residents now open to those with and without COVID-19 symptoms. 

Hy-Vee grocery stores announces meal purchase limitations due to pandemic. Each customer limited to four packages of combination of fresh beef, ground beef, pork and chicken when.

Tuesday, May 5

According to digital dashboard on county public health site, 237 total confirmed cases reported in Clay County between public health center and Kansas City Health Department as of 4:30 p.m. Majority of cases reported by the health center occur in white females and those aged 45 to 64.


Monday, May 4

State numbers show 8,754 people overall in Missouri have tested positive for COVID-19. Death toll at 358 in the state. Nearly 400 new cases in day's figures represent biggest daily jump and comes on heels of more testing being made available in days prior and on same day as many stay-home orders expire.

Kearney city government work will continue to be done remotely through May, according to City Administrator Jim Eldridge, who made announcement day countywide stay-home orders expire. Parks are open but bathrooms and public events are still closed. Amenities open today include skate park and basketball and pickleball courts.

Missouri Department of Conservation reports keeping facilities temporarily closed while the department creates a reopening plan. All programs and events canceled through May. MDC temporarily closed regional offices, department headquarters in Jefferson City, visitor centers and educational centers to public in mid-March. Conservation areas, nature center trails and boat accesses remain open to the public. Hunting, fishing and trapping seasons continue as scheduled.

Gov. Mike Parson says state will disburse funds received through the federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act to local governments today. Clay County not receiving funds yet as county did not submit proper certification paperwork after presiding commissioner alters document, alerting state treasurer commissioner had concerns county ability to verify funds would be spent correctly or would be fairly dispersed to cities.


Sunday, May 3

As off 11:59 p.m., Clay County stay-home orders are expired. This means for areas not under other extended stay-home orders like Kansas City, people can return to work at businesses' discretion and that bars and restaurants, churches, hair and nail salons/barber shops, gyms and retail locations can resume business with occupancy limits. The plan says when leaving home, residents should wear face masks and maintain 6 feet of physical distance between themselves and others.

Coronavirus cases top 3.4 million worldwide, with 245,531 deaths as of 1 p.m., according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The United States records more than 1.1 million cases and 66,760 deaths, according to CSSE.


Saturday, May 2

Coronavirus cases top 3.3 million worldwide. As of 7 p.m., there are 243,524 deaths, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The United States records more than 1.1 million cases and 66,364 deaths, according to CSSE.

Downtown Liberty Farmers Market around Liberty Square opens with new social distancing guidelines in place that include contactless payments where possible and one-way sidewalks. Limited vendors on hand say day started slow but business picked up and shoppers were courteous and mostly followed new rules.


Friday, May 1

Clay County Economic Development Council announces first-ever virtual happy hour from 4 to 6 p.m. as fundraiser for Feed Northland Kids, a local nonprofit organization. Ford Motor Company makes $15,000 donation plus match of next $15,000 raised.

Majority of Clay County Commission approves disbursements of nearly $29.3 million in federal CARES Act funding to be distributed to cities and other taxing entities like school districts based on population despite opposition from Presiding Commissioner Jerry Nolte and concerns from county auditor and treasurer, who say funds should be dispersed based on application and proof of need and compliance with federal spending guidelines.

Clay County leadership announces phased-in reopening plan beginning Monday, May 4. Plan states public buildings like Administration Building and Shrader Building on Liberty Square and Annex in Kansas City along with Highway Department will remain closed until June 1. Clay County Historic Sites like Pharis Farm, Mt. Gilead School and Jesse James Birthplace also remain closed until June 1. Plan states county parks and recreation office facilities, marina bait shops at Camp Branch and Paradise Pointe marinas at Smithville Lake and boat rentals at Camp Branch will resume operations May 16. Smithville Lake  and other county campgrounds, shelters, playgrounds and swim beaches reopen June 1.

Coronavirus cases top 3.2 million worldwide, with 228,908 deaths as of 10 a.m., according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The United States records more than 1 million cases and 61,187 deaths.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis, the U.S. economy shrank by 4.8% in the first quarter of 2020, the worst decline since the fourth quarter of 2008 when the nation was headed into what became the “Great Recession.” According to Center Square, 77% of people who responded to a recent survey say they are spending less money due to social distancing. 57 percent say they are not making “comfort buying” purchases to make them feel better during shutdown.

According to Clay County Public Health Center interactive map, Liberty has most confirmed cases in Clay County Public Health's reporting jurisdiction. Of cases reported by CCPHC, 30 are in Liberty, 20 are in Gladstone, seven are in Smithville and six are in North Kansas City. Total confirmed cases in county are 200 with 3 deaths as of 2:30 p.m. As of 2 p.m., the state overall reports 7,835 cases of COVID-19 with 337 deaths.

Organizers announce third annual Liberty Quilt Walk in downtown Liberty canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Sarah Steelman, commissioner of Missouri Office of Administration, more than 2,000 state workers will return to work Monday as state begins to reopen. State government has operated at about 94% of its normal capacity during the pandemic. As of Friday, 14,930 state workers, about 40% of the state workforce, are working remotely. Services that will be open within state buildings Monday include motor vehicle and driver's license services, motor vehicle inspection services and driver's tests.

Liberty business leaders say they are split on opening May 4 as stay-home orders come to end. Hair salon owner reports some staff coming in May 4 while others plan May 11 return. Petals and Potpourri, 1 E. Kansas St., will reopen May 4, while places such as Bittersweet Apothecary, 111 N. Water St., are holding off until Saturday, May 16.

Northland school district leaders say financial impact of pandemic remains to be seen as cities across region face loss in tax revenues with stay-home orders in place. However, leaders say DESE will not penalize districts in funding formula for student absences related to COVID-19 closures.


Thursday, April 30

H&R Block announces free, virtual tax filing available for law enforcement, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and other health care workers during the month of May.

Angie Winkler, counselor and clinical liaison for Signature Psychiatric Hospital, says as pandemic creates anxiety and fear of unknowns, people should be kind to selves, make a plan for how to protect selves when interacting with people in public as reopening plans begin and to stay connected with a support system of loved ones.

Gov. Mike Parson says state leaving safety oversight to individual businesses when they are allowed to reopen Monday. If employees feel unsafe, Parson says, they can exercise right to stay home, but this could mean ending their employment. State, he says, acquiring personal protective equipment for state employees.

Liberty city leaders say Liberty City Hall, 101 E. Kansas St., will be open to the public 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. starting Monday, May 4, with limited staffing. Online bill payments are still preferred. City parks and trails will remain open but if social distancing guidelines are not adhered to, amenities like the disc golf courses, pickleball and tennis courts and skate park, will be closed. Liberty Community Center and playgrounds will remain closed.


Wednesday, April 29

Rep. Collin Peterson, chairman of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee says USDA can pay to get rid of diseased animals, but not healthy animals while discussing issues with food supply chain disruptions due to COVID-19 outbreaks at meat plants across the Midwest. Discussions are being had on wasted food and economic loss associated with euthanizing hundreds of thousands of hogs as result.

Smithville chamber of commerce cancels annual Community Awards Banquet due to COVID-19 concerns.

Gov. Mike Parson says Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services expands testing criteria to allow more groups of people to be tested and rapid point-of-care testing devices deployed throughout Missouri. Missouri shifts to a "box-in approach" with testing, allowing positive patients to be identified and isolated as soon as possible. State also now utilizing community sampling in specific counties, which involves testing both symptomatic and asymptomatic people.

Department of Labor and Industrial Relations states it processing hundreds of thousands of initial unemployment claims and made hundreds of millions of dollars of payments to eligible claimants.

State Parks director announces slow rollout of reopening plan to begin May 4 including: concession-operated lodging, dining, marina and retail operations can reopen at discretion of individual concessionaires; Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site and State Park to open May 11 except for swim beaches, which are under Clay County guidance and expected to open June 1; park campgrounds and park-run lodging remain closed through May 18; visitor centers, park offices, tours, programs, group camps, enclosed shelters, playgrounds, pools and other beaches remain closed.

Smithville City Administrator Cynthia Wagner says when county can reopen May 4, City Hall lobby, 107 W. Main St., will remain closed to the public. Bills from the city can continue to be paid by phone via credit card or via check dropped in the city dropbox in front of City Hall. While trails remain open, Wagner says city park playgrounds, shelters and campgrounds remain closed.

President Trump says American workers ready to get back to work as 26 million have filed unemployment claims in last five weeks.

Missouri records 7,425 cases of COVID-19, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The number of cases is up by 122 from 7,303 Tuesday, April 28, a 1.7% increase. Deaths increased from 314 to 318.

Kansas records 3,738 cases of COVID-19, up from Tuesday’s number of 3,491, according to the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. 125 people have died.

Teachers from across the Northland say job duties, how jobs are performed look different with virtual learning as schools are closed for rest of academic year. Educators say they miss their students and its hard to motivate them when not face to face.

House Majority leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) cancels previously announced plans for House to return to session May 4, saying plan changed after consultation with the House physician. U.S. Senate will reconvene as scheduled on May 4, says Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).

Clay County releases phased-in recovery plan set to begin May 4. Plan includes four steps with first step including reopening businesses and organizations with occupancy limits while continuing to not allow mass gatherings. Mass gatherings are any gathering of 25 or more in a location where physical interaction is possible. Under the plan, all nonessential businesses not engaged in retail sales can reopen “provided employees maintain social distancing requirements and wear protective face coverings. Businesses must encourage working from home as much as possible.” Retail businesses, gyms and restaurants can reopen as long as they implement social distancing requirements and occupancy limited based on fire code occupancy.

Kearney and Liberty city leaders say they will follow Clay County Pubic Health's guidelines for slow rollout of reopening businesses and organizations as of May 4, but that city staff will continue to work remotely for time being.


Tuesday, April 28

Clay County Public Health Center providing details on case counts by city of residence across the county as well as an interactive map with other related virus details. Dashboard, accessible online at

Gov. Mike Parson says COVID-19 hospitalizations decreasing throughout most of the state as he continues to plan reopening of state’s economy. Since Saturday, all regions see decline in both positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations except the St. Louis area, which has 8% increase. Overall, there have been 7,303 positive cases of COVID-19 and 314 deaths in state.

Parson announces first phase of state recovery plan, which will begin May 4 and go through May 31. Under plan, people can resume economic and social activities, but must follow social distancing requirements, including maintaining 6 feet from others. There are no limits on gatherings, so long as social distancing is maintained. All businesses can open, but must follow social distancing guidelines and some required to take additional steps to protect employees and consumers, including occupancy limits at retail locations.

State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick says state to receive $2.83 billion from  CARES Act. Approximately 25%, or $521 million, going directly to local governments — which was decided by the supplemental budget passed by the Missouri House on April 7 — leaving state more than $1.5 billion to cover other COVID-19 related expenses. Clay County receiving $29,323,887. Allocations based on 2019 population data.

U.S. Department of Agriculture announces Coronavirus Food Assistance Program will provide $19 billion through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act. Agricultural producers to receive $16 billion in direct support to actual losses where market supply chains have been impacted. Other $3 billion to be used to purchase fresh produce, dairy and meat for the Buy Fresh or Food Box program.

Coronavirus cases top 3 million worldwide, resulting in 212,345 deaths as of 11 a.m., according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The United States records more than 990,000 cases, resulting in more than 128,000 hospitalizations and 56,475 deaths, according to CSSE.

Clay County funeral directors tell Courier-Tribune pandemic been hard on grieving families as social distancing guidelines limits services to graveside and with 10 people or less. Directors say they feel fortunate their businesses and others in the state are not overrun with virus-related deaths like New York.

Hy-Vee begins requiring employees to wear masks full time as they continue to work on cleanliness efforts during the coronavirus pandemic.


Monday, April 27

President Donald Trump says country's efforts to slow spread of COVID-19 through federal guidelines and added testing are working. Quest Diagnostics Chairman and CEO Steve Rustkowski says his company will have conducted 10 million tests by end of May.

Gov. Mike Parson announces first phase of the Show Me Strong Recovery Plan, outlining how Missouri will gradually begin to reopen economic and social activity on Monday, May 4. Order says businesses can begin to reopen, but must adhere to social distancing. Retail locations will have occupancy limits.

More than 55,000 people are dead related to COVID-19 in the U.S. as the number of confirmed cases nears 1 million.

The Center Square reports stay-at-home orders that closed nonessential businesses led to more than 26 million people in the U.S. filing for unemployment benefits over the past five weeks.

Missouri National Guard aids pandemic fight by helping unload deliveries and sorting, packing, delivering and distributing food to food banks across state that have seen dip in volunteers due to COVID-19.

Monica and Terry Landess of North Kansas City tell Courier-Tribune of the struggle in recovering from COVID-19. Couple says virus is lonely and fast-acting. Monica says people should take social distancing seriously, avoid going out if feeling ill and seek medical treatment soner rather than later.

Missouri Highway Patrol begins administering written tests for commercial driver's license applicants with essential needs. A complete listing of testing locations can be found at

Organizers of Historic Downtown Liberty Farmers Market say market will open Saturday, May 2, with social distancing guidelines in place to help prevent spread of virus.


Sunday, April 26

Missouri Farm Bureau Director Eric Bohl says farmers and others in agriculture are facing hardship due to prices plummeting on corn, soybean, mike, pork and beef. “They’re all going down because demand has fallen so much and the economy remains shut down," he says.

Coronavirus cases top 2.9 million worldwide with 203,670 deaths as of noon, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The United States records more than 940,000 cases. Of which, more than 126,000 are hospitalizations and 54,024 are deaths.


Saturday, April 25

Coronavirus cases top 2.8 million worldwide with 198,405 deaths as of noon, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. The United States records more than 900,000 cases. Of which, more than 124,000 are hospitalizations and 52,063 are deaths.


Friday, April 24

Nelson Home Group starts providing lawn signs to Kearney residents to display a message of strength during the COVID-19 pandemic. Those wanting to participate can text 885-4933 or send a direct message via Facebook by searching “Nelson Home Group.”

Clay County Public Health Center says its plan for reopening county after stay-home orders expire May 4 will be released early next week. Plan expected to included continued social distancing guidelines and some added measures for bars/restaurants but not in-depth specifics for all types of industries.

Mid-America Regional Council launches regional COVID-19 resource hub that includes real-time mapping of nine-county region under MARC's jurisdiction, which includes Clay County. Map available at

Educators across the Northland tell Courier-Tribune teaching virtually been  hard because face-to-face interactions are more motivating and create less room for misinterpretation. Teachers and school leaders say they miss seeing children in classrooms.

Department of Labor states 4.4 million American workers file for unemployment insurance week ending April 18. Total count of initial unemployment claims up to 26.4 million in the last five week.

Missouri State High School Activities Association Board of Directors temporarily waives restrictions on summertime contact between coaches and student-athletes. Under current rules, MSHSAA’s member schools have nine-day period in summer where no athletics activities are permitted. Coaches also only allowed 20 days of contact with any student-athlete during summer.


Thursday's April 23

President Donald Trump praises Congress' work on latest stimulus relief package including additional funding for small businesses. U.S. House voted 388-5 to pass measure that will provide $320 billion in relief for the American worker and small businesses.

Missouri about two weeks away from providing antibody tests, Department of Health & Senior Services Director Randall Williams says. He says state to be able to test 175 people per day for COVID-19 antibodies. Test detects body’s immune response to virus and could serve as protection against it, states Food and Drug Administration. Williams says he would expect statewide antibody tests to show that about 5% of Missouri residents had the antibodies.

William Jewell College announces campus will reopen for in-person classes on Aug. 26.


Wednesday, April 22

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announces Missouri receiving $4.1 million to help rural hospitals respond to novel coronavirus.

Due in part to consistently low infection rates of COVID-19, Clay County Public Health Center rolls back stay-home order to expire at 11:59 p.m. Sunday, May 3. Rollback means order will expire two weeks sooner and align with the state. Total confirmed cases in county as of 2:30 p.m. stand at 154 with two deaths out of the county's estimated population, based on 2019 census estimates, of 219,252.

Missouri joins pilot program to allow SNAP or food stamp recipients to use benefits for online grocery purchases. Waiver allows SNAP recipients to use benefits for qualifying online food purchases from Amazon and Walmart but does not cover delivery fees and other associated charges. Program has no set rollout date.

In addition to testing symptomatic close contacts with patients with suspected or laboratory confirmed COVID-19 cases, the Department of Health and Senior Services approves state tests for staff and patients of congregate living facilities with populations at higher risk of suffering negative health outcomes, symptomatic hospitalized patients and symptomatic patients who are at high risk of complications.

Gov. Parson orders U.S. and Missouri flags flown at half-staff at all government buildings in Clay County and at fire stations across state in honor of Kansas City Fire Department EMT Billy Birmingham, who died in line of duty after contracting virus from contact with patients.


Tuesday, April 21

Hundreds of protesters converge outside state Capitol building Tuesday to demand Gov. Mike Parson lift state stay-at-home order set to expire May 3. Parson says majority of Missouri businesses can reopen May 4. Parson says will open in phases. Local state Rep Jim Neely, who represents part of Holt and is running in the August primary against Parson, attends the protest. “People are frustrated that the government has stepped on their toes. Government has no business telling people who are healthy to stay home," he says.

President Trump applauds coronavirus stimulus package passed by U.S. Senate to distribute an additional $484 billion to businesses and health care industry affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. House expected to pass measure soon, he says.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt sues China on behalf of state for damages over COVID-19 outbreak. Suit seeks unspecified damages. "In Missouri, the impact of the virus is very real. Thousands have been infected and many have died, families have been separated from dying loved ones, small businesses are shuttering their doors, and those living paycheck to paycheck are struggling to put food on their table," Schmitt says.

Restaurant and hotel owners from Clay County say hospitality industry one of hardest economically impacted by shutdown related to stay-home orders and other factors from virus.


Monday, April 20

Tri-County Mental Health Services receives $50,000 unrestricted grant from the REACH Foundation to support mental health during COVID-19 health care crisis.


Sunday, April 19

President Donald Trump says negotiations with Democrats continue on another coronavirus relief package to replenish funding for small business loans, also known as the Paycheck Protection Program.

COVID-19 cases top 2.3 million worldwide, resulting in 163,134 deaths as of noon, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

State governments considering increasing excise taxes to backfill revenue failures and pay for increased expenses due to the economic impact of the coronavirus shutdown is “bad tax policy,” according to an analysis by the Washington, D.C.-based Tax Foundation.


Saturday, April 18

As of 2 p.m. in Missouri, there are 5,517 COVID-19 cases and 175 deaths, according to the Department of Health and Senior Services.


Friday, April 17

Liberty Make Music Day Committee announces cancellation of the 2020 Make Music Day event.

Hallmark Cards announces giveaway of another 2 million cards to people  going above and beyond to help support others during this time.

Hy-Vee announces free full-service fueling at its more than 165 convenience stores. Ordering of store items can also be done from pump and will be delivered to vehicles during pandemic.

Public Health officials extend Clay County stay-home emergency order for an additional three weeks to prevent infection rate hikes. The original order, which began March 24, was due to expire Friday, April 24, and now will expire Friday, May 15. Total count of confirmed cases in county is 136. Death toll of 2 remains same since first deaths announced April 6.


Thursday, April 16

U.S. Department of Labor reports 5.2 million initial unemployment insurance claims week ending April 11. Reports states 22 million initial unemployment claims made in past four weeks.

Gov. Mike Parson extends statewide stay-home order in Missouri to May 3 and says state’s initial framework to help Missouri "safely and gradually move into the recovery phase" of COVID-19 is underway.

Kearney Farmers Insurance agent Dan Lechner announces Northland community virtual pizza party to take place Saturday, April 18, to raise community spirits amid social distancing.


Wednesday, April 15

As of 5:15 p.m., the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Clay County stands at 128, with 78 cases in Kansas City and 50 elsewhere in the county. Those who do not reside in Kansas City are reported by Clay County Public Health, and the number has remained the same since Monday.

The rate of new coronavirus cases begins to slow in Missouri as the death toll reaches 147 in state. Missouri reports 209 total new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state's total to 4,895, with the highest concentration in the St. Louis region.

Gov. Mike Parson says Missouri to receive $152.4 million in grants for 75 state airports to help respond to the COVID-19 crisis. More than $1 million is for Kansas City International Airport. Parson also says he’s  talking with other governors about how best to reopen Missouri’s economy.

Roughly 87% of business owners say their businesses are hurting from the economic shutdown due to the coronavirus, according to a survey conducted by the personal finance website, WalletHub.

U.S. Supreme Court announces plans to hear oral arguments by telephone for the first time since it first convened in 1790. The court is hearing 11 previously postponed cases due to the coronavirus shutdown; select arguments will be made by phone on May 4, 5, 6, 11, 12 and 13.

Missouri House and Senate Republican leaders say they will return to Jefferson City April 27. The legislature, besides returning briefly last week to approve a $6 billion emergency spending package, has not met to debate legislation since mid-March, as concerns over the novel coronavirus intensified.

President Donald Trump says big decisions will be announced Thursday, April 16, about how parts of the U.S. economy will begin to reopen after stay-at-home orders closed businesses and led to millions of lost jobs across the country.

First response agencies around Clay County — sheriff's office, Kearney police and fire, Liberty police and fire and Smithville police and fire — report having enough PPE for responders for the time being.


Tuesday, April 14

Hy-Vee asks essential workers to submit photos of themselves doing their jobs so Hy-Vee can recognize work they do. Photos being featured on Hy-Vee’s social media platforms in video montage as part of #HelpfulSmileStrong social media campaign. Photos along with person's first and last name, hometown and occupation can be submitted through April 20 at

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft tells the Post-Dispatch decision to allow residents sheltering in place due to coronavirus to vote via absentee ballot not up him but to courts or legislature.

President Donald Trump says U.S. withholding  taxpayer aid to World Health Organization for its "concerning" response to COVID-19 pandemic. Decision will be reevaluated after investigation into WHO's response into novel coronavirus, which has killed more than 125,000 people globally, including more than 25,000 in the U.S. Trump has been critical of WHO, saying it inappropriately criticized him for his early flight restrictions on air travel from China. U.S. taxpayers have supported WHO with $400 million to $500 million in funding annually.

Smithville fire district Chief Dave Cline says responders under his command have enough personal protective equipment to help prevent spread of COVID-19 for now and see decrease in traffic accidents due to less vehicles on roads amid stay-home orders in county.

Over 80 animal shelters and rescue organizations across the United States announce creation of National House Pawty, a live-streamed fundraiser scheduled for Facebook Saturday, April 18. Funds being distributed to participating organizations that canceled fundraisers and adoption events during COVID-19 pandemic.

Data from Missouri Hospital Association states 154 hospitals have 10,795 medical/surgical beds and 2,129 ICU beds. Number of medical/surgical beds in use trending downwards, meaning more beds available if needed, from about 7,400 on April 3 to 6,795 on April 14. Number of ICU beds in use is 1,416 on April 14.

As of 4:40 p.m., number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Clay County is 125. Of those, 75 reside in Kansas City, while the remaining 50 live elsewhere in the county. Number of county residents who have died in relation to the virus remains two. Number of deaths has remained same since first death announced by Clay County Public Health April 6. Majority of those confirmed positive, 51 of them, are between age 45 and 64.

Missouri records total of 4,686 cases of COVID-19 as of Tuesday afternoon. Cases are up by 298 from 4,388 Monday, April 13, a 6.8% increase. Statewide deaths increased from 114 to 133.

Kansas records 1,426 cases of COVID-19, up from Monday's 1,376. Deaths rose from 62 to 69.

Truman Medical Center research shows a robot disinfecting rooms using UV light can also disinfect N-95 masks. TMC is also working with organizations to create other needed materials. Cerner is making frames using 3D printing for eye protection.


Monday, April 13

Due to lower ridership and safety precautions due to COVID-19, the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority limits the 535 Shoal Creek-Liberty Express routes between Liberty and Kansas City to one morning and one evening trip starting today.

As of 4:45 p.m., Clay County's confirmed total of COVID-19 cases stands at 122, with 73 in Kansas City and 49 elsewhere in the county. Deaths remain low at 2.


Sunday, April 12

The worldwide death toll from the coronavirus climbs to 113,031, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Cases top 1.8 million worldwide. The United States records more than 542,000 cases and 21,489 deaths.

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reports as of Easter Sunday, state reaches 4,160 cases of COVID-19 and 110 deaths. Numbers mean state sees increase of 136 cases from Friday and one additional death.


Saturday, April 11

Governor’s office temporarily allows Department of Health and Senior Services and Department of Commerce and Insurance to waive regulations requiring advanced practice registered nurses to practice with the collaborating physician continuously present for at least a month before providing health care on their own.

As of 2 p.m., the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in Missouri is 4,024 with 109 deaths.


Friday, April 10

North Kansas City Schools expands drive-thru meal pick-up as part of a comprehensive food distribution plan amid COVID-19 school shutdown. Phase 2 increases pick-up from four to 12 sites. Meal delivery by bus continues for families with unique needs and extenuating circumstances. District prepares up to 10,000 meals each day.

Gov. Mike Parson signs state's supplemental budget, which lawmakers passed on Thursday. It establishes group to make recommendations on how to best spend the federal funding received by the state. Missouri leaders plan to use the money to buy additional personal protective equipment for those on the front lines of the crisis. State Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick heads group.

President Donald Trump says reopening the economy amid the coronavirus pandemic is "biggest decision" he will have to make as president and he will use his own internal metrics to decide how best to do it. "I can listen to 35 people, but at the end, I have to make the decision," he says.

Missouri State Highway Patrol extends suspension of all written and driving tests through April 27. Extension includes tests for drivers of personal vehicles, commercial vehicles and motorcycles. Suspension does not apply to safety and emissions inspections.

XFL fully shuts down after canceling remainder of inaugural season in March due to coronavirus pandemic. XFL second attempt by Vince McMahon, chairman of World Wrestling Entertainment, to launch spring football league.

After 76 days of lockdown, residents of Wuhan, China, original epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic, tell CNN life slowly gaining semblance of normalcy.

Missouri Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten says Missouri receives 1.8 million surgical masks and 41,000 face shields this week. Karsten says state also getting shipments of PPE from Missouri vendors, expecting additional 41,000 face shields and 41,000 other shields to arrive late Friday.

As of 4 p.m., known cases of COVID-19 stands at 108 between Clay County Public Heath and Kansas City Health Department. Of the known infected, a majority, 66, reside in Kansas City. The remaining 42 live elsewhere in Clay County.

Missouri records 3,799 total cases in the state as of Friday afternoon. Positive test results are up by 260, or 7.3%, from Thursday.


Thursday, April 9

As of 4:15 p.m., number of positive cases of coronavirus in Clay County stands at 96. Of those, 58 live in Kansas City while the remaining 38 live elsewhere in the county. The total number of infections is five higher than Wednesday, April 8.

U.S. Department of Labor reports more than 6.6 million Americans file unemployment claims last week as more businesses were forced to furlough workers because of stay-at-home orders to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Ten local health departments in the Kansas City metro area, including Clay County Public Health, remind the public to keep distancing from others, especially when thinking of going outdoors as weather warms. Social distancing, the agencies, state, is the only way to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Gov. Mike Parson orders all public and charter schools to remain closed for remainder of academic year. Parson says decision made after hearing from school leaders across the state and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Missouri State High School Activities Association announces cancellation of all remaining postseason events scheduled for the 2019-20 school year. MSHSAA states biggest impact to be felt by seniors, who are unable to compete in their final seasons.

After an efficient two-day session that advanced a $6 billion emergency spending measure to combat COVID-19, Missouri lawmakers return to their districts not knowing when they would be back in Jefferson City. The House passed the measure 147-4, with the Senate voting in favor 28-1.


Thursday, April 9

As of 4:15 p.m., number of positive cases of coronavirus in Clay County stands at 96. Of those, 58 live in Kansas City while the remaining 38 live elsewhere in the county. The total number of infections is five higher than Wednesday, April 8.

U.S. Department of Labor reports more than 6.6 million Americans file unemployment claims last week as more businesses were forced to furlough workers because of stay-at-home orders to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Ten local health departments in the Kansas City metro area, including Clay County Public Health, remind the public to keep distancing from others, especially when thinking of going outdoors as weather warms. Social distancing, the agencies, state, is the only way to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Gov. Mike Parson orders all public and charter schools to remain closed for remainder of academic year. Parson says decision made after hearing from school leaders across the state and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Missouri State High School Activities Association announces cancellation of all remaining postseason events scheduled for the 2019-20 school year. MSHSAA states biggest impact to be felt by seniors, who are unable to compete in their final seasons.

After an efficient two-day session that advanced a $6 billion emergency spending measure to combat COVID-19, Missouri lawmakers return to their districts not knowing when they would be back in Jefferson City. The House passed the measure 147-4, with the Senate voting in favor 28-1.


Wednesday, April 8 data shows COVID-19 is the seventh leading cause of death since March 1.

As of 4:30 p.m., the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Clay County is 91, which includes 56 people who live in Kansas City. That number is reported by the Kansas City Health Department. Confirmed cases of those who live elsewhere in Clay County, reported by Clay County Public Health, stand at 35. The total county death toll remains at 2.


Tuesday, April 7

Single-day fatalities from coronavirus topped all other causes of death in the United States. According to Johns Hopkins University, 1,941 people died from the novel coronavirus today. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease killed an average of 1,774 people per day in 2017, and cancer killed an average of 1,641 people per day.

The U.S. death toll from coronavirus tops 11,000 Tuesday morning, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

Clay County Public Health Center reports 84 cases of COVID-19 with 37 cases in residents who live outside Kansas City city limits in Clay County. Residents inside Kansas City limits with the virus stand at 47, bringing the total to 84 cases and 2 deaths.


Monday, April 6

Clay County Public Health Center reports the first death of a Clay County resident due to COVID-19 in its reporting jurisdiction. The resident was a 64-year-old female who tested positive March 25. The case was not related to travel. Clay County has 35 positive confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the CCPHC reporting jurisdiction while the Kansas City Health Department, which records cases in Kansas City city limits inside Clay County, reports an additional 45 positive cases in Clay County including an additional death.

Trent Dial takes oath to serve as a Liberty police officer over the phone due to physical distancing. The event is the first officer swearing-in to be done via phone.

The U.S. death toll from coronavirus reaches 10,335 by midday Monday, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. New York City reported 3,048 deaths. The U.S. records 347,003 cases  and worldwide totals are 1,309,439 cases and 72,638 deaths.

American Legion National Commander James Oxford says American Legion offering Temporary Financial Assistance Grants for military families having difficulty purchasing food, paying bills or facing other hardships due to the pandemic.

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Missouri State Emergency Management Agency and Missouri Department of Economic Development’s Missouri One Start Division team up to recruit medical professionals not currently part of the workforce to join a specialized state team to respond to critical health emergencies related to COVID-19. Apply online at


Sunday, April 5

The number of people who died from COVID-19 in Missouri increases to 34, up 10 from yesterday. The number of coronavirus cases also increases, up to 2,367 people, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The number is 76 new cases since Saturday. Of the total in Missouri, 424 are hospitalized patients.

Overall in the U.S., the number of cases tops 300,000. The U.S. death toll climbs to 8,503 this morning, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.


Saturday, April 4

As of today, 24 new people in Missouri have COVID-19, bringing the total in the state to 2,291.

The U.S. death toll tops 7,000, with 1,867 of those deaths in New York City, as coronavirus cases continue to climb across the United States and the globe. At 10 a.m., the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University reports a worldwide count of 1,140,327 cases and 60,877 deaths.

Walmart begins to limit the number of customers who can be in a store at once. Stores allow no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet at a given time.


Friday, April 3

Missouri reports 2,113 total cases of COVID-19 in the state. Positive test results are up by more than 15% from the day prior. The state's death toll stands at 19.

During his press briefing, Gov. Mike Parson issues statewide stay-home order for all Missourians from Monday to Friday, April 6 to 24, saying virus has infected residents in 76 of the state's 114 counties. Of the more than 24,700 state residents tested in Missouri, 8.5% are positive.

In Clay County, as of 4:45 p.m., there are 61 residents with the virus and zero reported deaths. Of those in the county, 36 reside in Kansas City and 25 are elsewhere in the county including one in Smithville, according to a social media post from Smithville Police earlier in the day.

CDC changes protection guidelines for people leaving their homes to include cloth face masks or coverings. President Trump says he will not follow voluntary guidelines.

Clay County Public Health announces online reporting form to report noncompliance with stay-home orders. Form available at

At 9 a.m., Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University reports the global count at 1,033,478 cases and 54,369 deaths.


Thursday, April 2

Effective at 5 p.m., Missouri State Parks will close four park locations including nearby Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site in Lawson to address overcrowding and public safety concerns regarding the spread of COVID-19.

As of 5 p.m., Clay County Public Health reports the number of positive COVID-19 patients that live outside Kansas City in Clay County rose by three from Wednesday, April 1, to 23. Kansas City residents that reside in Clay County with the virus, which are reported by Kansas City Health Department, rose by 6 to 35, making the total of infected Clay County residents 58. There have been zero virus-related deaths.

Gov. Parson signs order suspending late penalties for concealed carry license renewals. This executive order waives the requirement that sheriffs enforce the penalty on late renewals.


Wednesday, April 1

On Census Day, Gov. Parson says Missourians filling out census more important than ever as funding for COVID-19 and other relief efforts and state programs based on census data.

As of 6:15 p.m., the number of cases in Kansas City residents that live in Clay County stand at 29, according to the Kansas City Health Department. The number of cases in those who live elsewhere in Clay County County, according to Clay County Public Health, stands at 20. A majority of the total number of reported cases in the county are in those aged 25 and older.

The coronavirus death toll tops 4,000 today in the U.S. according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. At 9 a.m., CSSE reports U.S. has 189,753 cases and 4,090 deaths. Only Italy (12,428) and Spain (9,053) record more deaths.


Tuesday, March 31

Gov. Mike Parson says Missouri National Guard working to identify possible alternate care sites around the state in the fight against COVID-19. Missouri State Parks representative says Watkins Woolen Mill State Historic Site closing as of 5 p.m. Thursday, April 2. Head of Missouri Department of Corrections says Missouri Vocational Enterprises, which operates 22 industries inside state prisons, ramped up toilet paper production at the factory in Cameron with 600 to 800 additional cases each week, producing 3,500 cases every week.

Restless Spirits, a distillery off 18th Avenue in North Kansas City, shifts production to making hand sanitizer for health care workers, nursing homes, first responders and nonprofits.

As of 3:40 p.m., the number of confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Clay County is 46, 28 of which are Kansas City residents with details reported by the Kansas City Health Department. The remaining 18 are residents of elsewhere in the county and reported by Clay County Public Health. The cities of residence of those reported by Clay County Public Health has not been released. Of the total infected, one is under age 15, four are aged 15 to 24, 12 are aged 25 to 44, 18 are aged 45 to 64 and 11 are 65 or older. Of those reported by Clay County Public Health, zero cases are travel related while 10 were transmitted in the community and two were infected through contact with a confirmed case. Two transmission causes are unknown and four are pending tracing investigation.

Missouri reports 1,327 total cases of COVID-19 after the number of positive tests crossed the 1,000 mark Monday, March 30. Statewide deaths increase from 13 to 14. Cases in Kansas increased from 368 to 428.

Big Slick Celebrity Weekend board says event scheduled for June 5 and 6 canceled due to coronavirus pandemic concerns. The annual star-studded weekend, started in 2010 and hosted by Kansas City natives Rob Riggle, Paul Rudd, Jason Sudeikis, Eric Stonestreet and David Koechner, contributes millions to pediatric cancer research at Children’s Mercy hospital in Kansas City.


Monday, March 30

Gov. Mike Parson announces waiver allowing doctors from other states to help treat Missourians during the COVID-19 crisis. In addition, Missouri Department of Social Services suspends food stamp applicant interviews as a condition of eligibility for applications received in March and April and will make a special payment to Child Care Subsidy providers to ensure they are paid no less in the month of March than the average of their payments for last three months.

The United States has 148,089 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 2,599 deaths, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Worldwide, there are 755,591 confirmed cases and 36,211 deaths, according to CSSE. As of 4:15 p.m., the number of confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Clay County residents is 33, 20 are Kansas City residents and 13 are residents of elsewhere in the county. The total number of cases has climbed by four since Friday, March 27. There are zero deaths to date of those infected.


Sunday, March 29

United States has 124,686 confirmed cases of coronavirus, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. U.S. deaths from virus stand at 2,194 and global deaths surpass 30,000, with more than 10,000 of those in Italy.

CDC issues a travel advisory urging people in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut to "refrain from nonessential domestic travel" for 14 days.

Spain reports highest increase in coronavirus deaths, but sees drop in infection rate while Japan reports the country's largest single-day increase in coronavirus cases.

U.S. President Donald Trump extends social distancing guidelines until April 30.


Saturday, March 28

Kearney restaurants licensed to sell mixed alcoholic beverages by the drink now permitted to sell those drinks for take-home consumption.

Smithville School Resource Office Claire Henry says playgrounds in city are closed. Mayor Damien Boley says many people not taking countywide stay-home order seriously.


Friday, March 27

Gov. Mike Parson signs Executive Order 20-06 to mobilize the Missouri National Guard to assist in the state's COVID-19 response efforts.

President Donald Trump signs $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus bill. Package includes $250 billion in direct payments to Americans depending on their income, $250 billion in expanded unemployment insurance benefits, $350 billion in guaranteed small business loans that can be forgiven if businesses continue to pay employees and $500 billion in loans for businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic. It also includes $140 billion for hospitals and other health care providers.


Thursday, March 26

U.S. records 1,049 deaths — 280 of them in New York City, according to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University. Italy, with 7,503 deaths, has been the hardest hit, followed by Spain at 4,145, China at 3,291, Iran at 2,234, and France  at 1,333.

As of 2 p.m., Kansas City Health Department reports another case of COVID-19 in its jurisdiction, bringing overall county total to at least 21. No additional numbers reported in its jurisdiction by Clay County Public Health as of 6 p.m.

City of Kansas City passes fiscal budget for 2020-21, extends the earnings tax deadline to July 15 and implements a Small Business Emergency Relief Fund in response to COVID-19. 


Wednesday, March 25

Clay County Public Health confirms fifth case of COVID-19 in its reporting jurisdiction. The newest case is a of a woman in her 40s. Kansas City Heath Department reports a total of 15 cases in the portion of Kansas City in Clay County.


Tuesday, March 24

Smithville Mayor Damien Boley announces a state of emergency. Following recommendations by Clay County Public Health Center, the city was put under a stay-at-home order.

Clay County Public Health confirms fourth case of COIVD-19 in its reporting district. The new case is of a man in his 20s. It is unclear if it was travel related.


Monday, March 23

As of 7:24 p.m., world infection total stands at 378,601 with 16,505 deaths and 100,982 recoveries. World Heath Organization says it took 67 days from the first reported case to reach the first 100,000 cases, 11 days for the second 100,000 cases and only four for the third 100,000 cases.

United Kingdom announces countrywide lockdown with a ban on gatherings of more than two people and strict limits on exercise.

Japan’s government negotiates with the International Olympic Committee to postpone the Tokyo Olympic Games by a maximum one year.

Clay County Public Health Center confirms positive COVID-19 testing of three patients in its jurisdiction. The three join six others who live in Clay County who tested positive and were reported Sunday through the Kansas City Health Department. The additional confirmations bring the total for Clay County to nine.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams says on NBC, "This week, it's really going to get bad. ... Everyone needs to take the right steps right now, and that means stay at home."

Global stocks and U.S. futures plunge as governments worldwide lock down cities and the United States government stalls on a stimulus package meant to help Americans handle the coronavirus pandemic. Dow futures fell more than 900 points, hitting a 5% decline that triggered a limit down, preventing futures from falling further. President Trump says world pandemic's spread not Asian Americans' fault. "It is very important that we totally protect our Asian American community in the United States and all around the world. They are amazing people, and the spreading of the virus is NOT their fault in any way, shape or form," he wrote in a Tweet.

Kearney's City Administrator Jim Eldridge states under the city's stay-at-home order, as with the county's public parks, the city's parks will remain open, but playground equipment use is not advised. "Practice social distancing, at least 6 feet between people and gather in groups of 10 people or less. Use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol," a notice on city playground equipment states.

Gov. Mike Parson signs Executive Order 20-05, ordering the suspension of any prohibition on the sale of unprepared food by restaurants to the public. Parson also requests President Trump approve a major disaster declaration for Missouri to provide federal assistance for state and local COVID-19 pandemic preparedness and emergency response efforts.

Kansas City City Hall and all other city facilities announce closure to the general public at least until the current stay-at-home order ends on April 24.

Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative announces annual meeting scheduled for May 7 indefinitely postponed. "A special meeting will be held at a date to be determined in order to conduct Board of Director elections," states a cooperative release. Additionally, the co-op moves nonessential employees to remote work and suspends business travel beginning Tuesday, March 24. PCEC offices will remain closed to the public and drive-thru and warehouse services will cease for the time being.


Sunday, March 22

Clay County Public Health Director Gary Zaborac issues stay-at-home order that begins Tuesday, March 24. Residents of Clay County told to stay at home except for acquiring essential needs. Kearney Mayor Randy Pogue announces city seeking a similar shelter-in-place order. Full order can be viewed by clicking HERE.

As of 1 p.m., world COVID-19 cases stand at 319,000 with 27,000 in the United States. Of the U.S. cases, 340 ended in death. There are 90 reported cases in Missouri with three deaths. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Missouri climbs with 106 confirmed coronavirus cases and three deaths. Kansas City has confirms 13 cases, Cass and Jackson counties each has six and Johnson County, Missouri, has one. St. Louis County leads the state with 23 confirmed cases, while the city of St. Louis has 10. The number of cases in the U.S. surges to at least 26,747, making it one of the worst hit countries in the world. Only China, Italy and Spain are harder hit.


Saturday, March 21

The Missouri Department of Revenue extends the tax payment deadline to July 15, but filing date remains April 15. License plates and driver's license expiration dates extended by two months. State says drivers with an expired plate or license will not face penalty.

Nine states, not Missouri, postpone presidential primary and congressional elections.

Missouri raises limitations on the total number of children per child care provider at day care facilities to 10.

School districts across Clay County extend school closures through April 24.


Friday, March 20

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announces IRS ruling that Tax Day is moved to July 15 from April 15 for businesses and individuals.

Internet providers AT&T, Spectrum, Comcast, CenturyLink and Viasat announced they will uphold the FCC’s Keep Americans Connected Pledge, which asks companies to suspend termination of service for the next 60 days and waive late fees for residential and small business customers who are financially impacted by the spread of COVID-19.

President Trump announces student loan interest will be temporarily waived and federal student loan payments suspended for 60 days and the Department of Education will suspend standardized testing requirements for the current school year for all K-12 students.

National news reports state novel coronavirus pandemic kills at least 11,200 people worldwide, mostly in Italy and China. More than 258,000 diagnosed cases globally, according to data compiled by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University.

As of 7 p.m., U.S. cases stand at more than 18,000 with more than 240 deaths reported and more than 140 recovered.

General Motors and Ventec Life Systems announce collaboration to produce respiratory care products including ventilators to fight COVID-19.

Clay County Public Health Director Gary Zaborac says one of the most recently reported positive cases of novel coronavirus in Kansas City came from a test conducted at Liberty Hospital. Dr. Raghu Adiga, chief medical officer at Liberty Hospital, says patient is in her 60s, has travel related infection and is under isolated hospital care.

Moving and storage companies U-Haul and Two Men and a Truck offer free storage for 30 days in an effort to help college students store their belongings after being displaced by campus closures.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt urges Missourians to exercise caution before donating to charities aiding in novel coronavirus outreach. Missouri Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Hotline can be reached at (800) 392-8222 or by filing a complaint online at

Metropolitan Community College announces start to delivering all courses and student support services remotely March 30 through April 10 with possible exception of small group lab work. Campuses will remain closed.


Thursday, March 19

Economic experts say COVID-19 will have lasting impact on global economy and results in multiple trillion dollar loses.

Liberty Mayor Lyndell Brenton issues a state of emergency in response to COVID-19, saying declaration is "next step and will help expedite our emergency response efforts and allow us to procure needed resources more easily and adapt as necessary in our ongoing efforts to protect public health and safety."

Northland schools finalize extended closure plans. Liberty, Kearney and Smithville students will have access to breakfast and lunch for pick up. Charter Communications offers free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for 60 days to students in grades kindergarten through 12.

Missouri Education Commissioner Margie Vandenven makes announcement canceling state assessments. “There is a time and a place for statewide required assessments and now is not the time. Effective immediately, Missouri will be canceling statewide required assessments for this school year,” Vandeven said. Advanced Placement tests also are being modified.

Missouri Department of Conservation announces closure of its five staffed shooting ranges starting Friday, March 20, through April 15. MDC will reassess the situation at that point. MDC unstaffed shooting ranges remain open.


Wednesday, March 18

Gov. Parson issues executive order to waive or suspend regulations that may interfere with COVID-19 response. Order enables doctors to diagnose and treat patients more easily through telemedicine, extends hours commercial drivers can operate on Missouri roadways in order to deliver essential supplies and removes barriers to entering the education profession in order to mitigate teacher shortages.

Congresswoman Ann Wagner of Missouri releases statement saying she will self-quarantine after being in a meeting with a colleague last week who tested positive for COVID-19.

Governor announces total of 24 Missouri residents have tested positive for COVID-19. Parson says mobile testing units set up and the National Guard on stand-by to help. parson also says first Missouri death occurred in Boone County. The death is "travel-related" states Columbia Mayor Brian Treece.

Humane Society of Missouri moves to appointment-only visits and and postpones all other scheduled shelter visits including field trips and Shelter Buddies programs.

State Auditor Nicole Galloway announces her office's staff will begin working remotely as on noon Thursday, March 19. The State Auditor's Office Whistleblower Hotline remains active at (800) 347-8597 or Auditees with questions about ongoing audits can reach out to audit team members at

Missouri Department of Conservation announces closure of nature centers, visitor centers and education centers around the state to visitors effective Thursday, March 19 to April 15. All conservation areas, area trails and boat accesses remain open to the public. MDC offices and shooting ranges also remain open under normal operating hours. Hunting, fishing and trapping seasons continue as scheduled as do mentored turkey hunts and managed hunts.

Parson ordered all Missouri municipal elections previously scheduled for April 7 to be postponed to June 2. The executive order declares ballots already printed for the April 7 election may be used at the postponed June 2 date. Voters who turn 18 by April 7 will be allowed to cast a ballot.

Clay County Public Health Director Gary Zaborac orders no public gatherings of 10 or more people both indoor or outdoors with the exceptions of government functions, health care facilities, day cares, grocery stores, pharmacies, private businesses, weddings, funerals and faith-based activities. He also orders all restaurants, bars, clubs and movie theaters to close unless they are providing curbside, drive-thru or delivery services of food and beverages that adhere to CDC social distancing and control measures.


Tuesday, March 17

Presiding Commissioner Jerry Nolte declares a preemptive state of emergency for Clay County. County Administration Building on the Liberty Square closed to the public and nonessential employees. The legal declaration was made by Clay County Emergency Management Director Will Akin that was then approved by the County Commission Wednesday, March 18.

Missouri State Highway Patrol suspends driver road testing at all locations through March 31.

State Historical Society of Missouri and all SHSMO research centers including Kansas City close through March 31.

Gov. Parson announces state is working with University of Missouri and Washington University to expand COVID-19 testing.

Missouri Department of Transportation now allows for heavier than normal truckloads of supplies and equipment to travel on Missouri highways in the direct effort to prevent, contain, mitigate and treat the effects of the COVID-19 virus. This includes shipments of livestock and poultry.

Kearney Mayor Randy Pogue issues proclamation and Clay County Public Health issue statement urging people to follow new CDC recommendations and not attend or have public events with 10 or more people. Exceptions include governmental and judicial functions, healthcare facilities, private business operations, religious and faith-based activities, weddings and funerals. In addition to not attending or hosting events with 10 or more people, CDC recommendations urge people to not visit retirement or nursing homes and long-term care facilitates and urge restaurants, bars, taverns, movie theaters and clubs to only serve customers via drive-thrus where and if legally possible.

Missouri Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe encourages Missourians to call his office, the Missouri Attorney General Office, Department of Health and Senior Services and the Missouri Veterans Commission for COVID-19 health information and reporting of related scams. Kehoe's office can be reached at (573) 751-4727, the attorney general's consumer protection hotline can be reached at (800) 392-9222, senior services can be reached at (573) 751-6400 and the veteran's commission crisis line can be reached at (800) 273-8255.

Courier-Tribune announces closures of offices in Kearney and Liberty to public through end of March to help prevent possible spread of COVID-19.

Kearney city leaders announce postponement of biannual bulky item collection. Event was originally scheduled for March 30 to April3, but is now planned for week of May 18.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly announced the closure of all K-12 schools for the rest of the 2019-20 school year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

During a press conference Tuesday night, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said while a majority of schools in the state postponed returns from spring break, he does not, at this point, plan to order schools to close for remainder of school year. Parson also says state should prepare for coronavirus to be here “for months” and that state working with universities and private section to open mobile testing sites throughout state. Governor says 15 people in Missouri have now tested positive for COVID-19 with most recent today in Jackson County. As of Tuesday, March 17, there have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Clay County.

Grocery store chain Hy-Vee announces shortened store hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. to allow employees additional time to clean and sanitize all areas of the store, as well as restock the items in highest demand. All dining areas in all Hy-Vee stores, restaurants and convenience stores are now closed to the public. Food service areas will still operate during their normal hours, offering prepared meal options for carryout only. Also, all bars inside Hy-Vee Market Grille locations have been closed until further notice.

Central Bank of the Midwest and Platte Valley Bank announce banking services at all locations in the greater Kansas City and Lawrence, Kansas areas by drive-thru only effective Wednesday, March 18, until further notice.

Smithville restaurants and bars close to dine-in customers. While still open, these businesses are doing delivery and carry-out options only.


Monday, March 16

Kearney, Liberty and Smithville school districts as well as schools throughout the Kansas City metro area announce extend closures of schools after spring break, tentatively, until April 6. The closure affects all school programming including before- and after-school activities, athletic and extracurricular practices and competitions and all weekend events.

All Mid-Continent Public Library branches close to the public beginning at noon.

Platte-Clay Electric Cooperative announces voluntarily suspension of disconnection of services for nonpayment and late fees as communities the co-op serves face challenges related to COVID-19. Cooperative also states it will close offices to public effective Tuesday, March 17.

Supreme Court of Missouri announces suspension, subject to certain listed exceptions, of all in-person proceedings in all appellate and circuit courts including all associate, family, juvenile municipal and probate divisions through Friday, April 3. The suspension applies to Clay County Circuit Court.

Cass County Health Department confirms county’s first presumptive-positive case of coronavirus in Drexel.

Smithville closes city facilities through March 31 amid COVID-19 concerns. Closure impacts City Hall, animal shelter, police department lobby, senior center and park rental facilities. City encourages residents to pay water bills online at

All restaurants, bars, clubs and movie theaters in the Kansas City metro area announce closure for 15 days beginning Tuesday, March 17.

Kearney tables public hearings on rezoning for Greenfield subdivision residents until May 18. Announcement comes after city announces closure to the public of City Hall, Kearney Historic Museum, Kearney Senior Center, Firehouse Community Center and suspension of all senior trips, park shelter rentals, municipal court and youth recreation games and practices through March 31. Kearney City Hall foyer doors and the police department lobby will remain open during normal business hours. During this time, the city encourages residents to take advantage of online services including payment of utility bills and municipal court fines. Court dates from march 23 are moved to April 27.

Courier-Tribune cancels candidate forums for school board and city offices in Kearney and Smithville for those running for office on the April ballot.


Sunday, March 15

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend for next eight weeks, organizers cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the country. The CDC said its recommendation does not apply to day-to-day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning or businesses.

Johnson County, Kansas Department of Health and Environment announce sixth case of coronavirus disease bringing state total to nine cases.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas says no events or gatherings with 50 or more people will be allowed in the city for the next eight weeks. Announcement came after five confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Missouri and nine in Kansas including six in neighboring Johnson County.

Walmart announces new limited hours across nation due to inability to keep up with purchase demands related to panic buying in light of COVID-19 pandemic.

The coronavirus pandemic has killed more than 6,000 people. The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins University this afternoon put the worldwide death toll at 6,065 with 62 of those deaths in the U.S. Nearly 163,000 cases have been confirmed worldwide with more than 3,200 in the U.S.

ECHL Board of Governors approved the cancellation of the remainder of the 2019-20 hockey season that includes Kansas City Mavericks.

Liberty announces stop to public access of city facilities March 16 through at least March 31 and postpones nonessential board and commission meetings. City suggests residents pay bills online.


Saturday, March 14

White House officials announce European travel ban extended to include United Kingdom and Ireland.

World War I Monument and Museum closes through Friday, April 3 amid COVID-19 concerns.

Missouri State Public Health Laboratory confirms fifth case in Missouri of novel coronavirus. The case is in Greene County. Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services also announce Henry County resident tested presumptive positive for the novel coronavirus.

Missouri State Parks announces closures of state parks and suspension of historic site programs and events as well as state Capitol tours through April 30.


Friday, March 13

U.S. President Donald Trump declares national emergency and invoked the Stafford Act, which frees up extra federal funding and allows access to the funds to combat COVID-19.

According to the Center for Systems Science and Engineering, there are 137,445 active COVID-19 cases worldwide with U.S. cases approaching 1,300.

Mid-Continent Public Library System announces cancellation of all programs and extended due dates on checked-out items as well as reduced Library-By-Mail service until at least April 15.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announce closures of all Kansas City District Visitor Centers including Jerry L. Litton Center at Smithville Lake.

Clay County Detention Center suspends visitation of inmates in Clay County Detention Center in Liberty as well as volunteer programs until further notice. Detention center’s public vestibule will remain open for professional visits and to accept bonds for inmates.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson declared a state of emergency in Missouri in response to the novel coronavirus, COVID-19. The order enables Parson to waive state laws and regulations where necessary and direct state agencies to report any unfair market practices such as price gouging. State of emergency also provides access to approximately $7 million in state funds beyond federal funds Missouri expects to receive.

Local stores like Walmart, Price Chopper, Target and Hy-Vee report to Courier_tribune dwindling stock of cleaning supplies and paper products as panic buying sets in across nation. Stores implement purchasing limits, heightened sanitization protocols.


Thursday, March 12

Metropolitan Community College campuses start spring break early after member of college community self-reports being asked to self-quarantine due to potential exposure to the novel coronavirus.

Missouri has second case of coronavirus after person tests positive at Springfield clinic and is quarantined at home with mild symptoms. Person is expected to recover.

U.S. Small Business Administration announces up to $2 million in disaster assistance loans available to businesses negatively impacted by COVID-19.

Snake Saturday and related charity cook-off canceled in North Kansas City amid COVID-19 concerns.

Clay County Emergency Management director and city leaders in Kearney, Liberty and Smithville report county and cities prepared for outbreak despite no confirmed cases of coronavirus in Clay County.

NCAA announces cancellation of men’s and women’s basketball tournaments. It’s the first time since the tournaments were introduced that basketball champions will not be crowned.

High school athletic directors in Kearney, Liberty and Smithville begin developing plans to address concerns about COVID-19 but do not announce plans to change upcoming athletic competitions. School district superintendents say they are crafting contingency plans for student learning in event schools are shut down after spring break, which ends March 22.

NHL announces paused to hockey season.

Missouri Senate announces it will not reconvene in a full session until at least March 30 due to concerns over novel coronavirus.

Missouri State High School Activities Association limits spectators for each school in Show-Me Showdown with schools getting 150 wristbands to distribute to fans. MSHAA also limits spectators allowed at state quarterfinals basketball games for pending weekend.

MLB announces cancellation of spring training games and delayed start of baseball season by at least two weeks.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas declares a state of emergency, forcing all events with more than 1,000 people to cancel and halting nonessential travel for city employees.

Johnson County, Kansas residents have the coronavirus, bringing the state’s confirmed tally of COVID-19 cases to four, all from Johnson County.

U.S. stocks plummet in worst day of trading since Oct. 19, 1987, also known as "Black Monday."

Organizers of the annual St. Patrick's Day parade in Kansas City cancel event due to COVID-19 concerns.


Wednesday, March 11

Courier-Tribune reports three previously monitored for potential coronoavirus infection in Clay County cleared by health department after never showing signs of virus.

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services activates statewide public hotline for citizens or providers needing guidance regarding novel coronavirus.

President Trump announces U.S. ban on most travel from Europe for the next 30 days, starting at midnight March 13, affecting 26 European countries not including the United Kingdom.

Movie star Tom Hanks and his wife, actress Rita Wilson, test presumptive positive for coronavirus and are in quarantine in Australia, where the couple is filming a movie.

NBA suspends basketball season after Utah Jazz player tested presumptive positive for COVID-19.

World Health Organization declares COVID-19 pandemic as virus is reported in at least 114 countries and kills more than 4,000 people.


Tuesday, March 10

Italy locks down country. Action includes ban of all public events; closure of schools and public spaces; suspension of funerals, weddings, sporting events and movement between municipalities without official permission.


Monday, March 9

Annals of Internal Medicine releases study showing people infected by novel coronavirus tend to develop symptoms about five days after exposure and almost always within two weeks.

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt warns consumers of potential scams and price gouging related to COVID-19, saying scammers may try to take advantage of the stress and rush to stock up on supplies. Missouri law prohibits individuals and businesses from substantially raising their prices for the necessities of life during an emergency


Sunday, March 8

The 2020 BNP Paribas Open, major tennis tournament in California, one of the first U.S. sporting events canceled due to coronavirus concerns.


Saturday, March 7

Health officials on both sides of the Kansas and Missouri state line announce first reported presumptive-positive cases of COVID-19 in Kansas and Missouri.


Thursday, March 5

Environmental Protection Agency releases list of EPA-registered disinfectant products for novel coronavirus that includes bleach and peroxide multisurface cleaner.


Thursday, Feb. 20

Clay County Public Health alerted by Centers for Disease Control that three county residents need monitoring for 14 days due to possible COVID-19 infection after travel to China. All three are quarantined at home. Director of Public Health Gary Zaborac says no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Clay County.

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