ODESSA, MO – Following the issuance of a stay-at-home order by Lexington mayor, Joe Aull, other Lafayette County cities are urging the county Health Department to initiate the policy, county-wide.

Odessa Mayor, Adam Couch, in a letter dated Friday, urged director Tom Emerson to such action, saying while the needs of each community is to be considered, all of them utilize the same health care system.

The letter also follows the first recorded COVID-19-related death in the county.

Full text of letter:


As today draws near, it brings two (2) additional confirmed cases of the novel Coronavirus COVID-19 to
Lafayette County and unfortunately the first death. As public officials, it is our responsibility to put forth policy
to protect the safety, health, and wellbeing of those that have entrusted us to our offices. I fully understand and
value personal rights and liberties, but as we navigate the uncharted waters before us, I respectfully ask that you
thoughtfully consider approving and implementing a “Stay at Home” order for Lafayette County.

While each of the entities that make up Lafayette County have needs specific to our own communities, we all
utilize the same healthcare systems. While we cannot stop the spread of COVID-19, we can work together to
make a positive impact and slow it down. I feel it is our obligation and duty to do whatever we can do to give
our hospitals, healthcare workers, and first responders a fighting chance to do their jobs and save lives. Our
team in Odessa have been working continuously to develop mechanisms and procedures to try and protect the
health of our community, while also modifying the operations of our organization so that we can provide
uninterrupted basic services to our community, when it needs it the most. We are providing communication to
our residents and business community beyond normal business hours through our website and social media.

Regardless of where we are in this global pandemic, if we all work together, when this is behind us, we can look
back and know that we did everything within our power to protect those that we serve. If you so choose to
implement such an order as other entities surrounding us have, to slow the spread of COVID-19, please let me
know if my staff or I can be of any assistance. We will be happy to provide any of our resources to you to assist
with this process.”