Lawrence County puts prohibition on groups of 10 or more

Ryan Squibb

Order does not include schools, daycares, businesses, court
The Lawrence County Commission passed an ordinance Friday, March 20, prohibiting any groups of 10 or more people to congregate, beginning at 1 p.m. March 20 and continuing until further notice.

The ordinance specifically states, “… it is hereby declared unlawful for any person to organize or attend an intentional gathering of more than 10 people in a single space or room.”

It adds that this order does not include educational institutions, daycare facilities, daily business operations, places of employment, grocery stores, retail stores, or any activity a court of competent jurisdiction…”

The ordinance was discussed during a meeting at the Mt. Vernon City Hall council chambers with a group of local business people—mainly restauranteurs—and Mt. Vernon Mayor Dave Eden and City Administrator Max Springer.

Also on hand during the public discussion were representatives from the Lawrence County Health Department, including Administrator Janella Spencer, who emphasized the positive effects of social distancing.

“The more we can social distance the better. That has been proven, you guys. It has been totally proven that it will reduce the spread. And it's not getting better. It's getting worse,” Spencer said. “There have been two more cases in Christian County. We're right there. It's just a matter of time. It's literally a matter of time."

Spencer added that now is not the time to slow the fight.
"Sometimes people say that we're making too big a deal of this, but I would rather be proactive and say that we did make a big deal of this, but we didn't get many cases or any cases at all, rather than we sat back and did nothing and Lawrence County has the black eye. The last thing we want is to look like we don't care about our community."

Mayor Eden declined to take action on behalf of the city in the matter, instead leaving the restrictions to the county—which were soon coming, citing the importance of freedom for business owners.

Some local restaurants have already taken it upon themselves to push social distancing by closing their dining area, like Keen Bean and Angus Branch Grille.

Spencer, with the Lawrence County Health Department, said the last option would be to close the eateries entirely, although we aren’t there yet. In the meantime, most restaurants will be promoting carry out orders or curbside service for their customers, on whom the businesses

Following the recommendation of the Lawrence County Commission and the Lawrence County Health Department, the lobby of the Lawrence County Record is closed to the public until further notice. If you have business that can be conducted over the phone call 417-466-2185. If your business can be done electronically, email


Lawrence County Record

312 S. Hickory St.
Mt. Vernon, MO, 65712


Please Login for Premium Content