Back 2 School Shot Clinics Scheduled

Be sure to get your child up to date on all their required vaccines.

Back to School Shot Clinics have been scheduled for all ages to easily get their required immunizations for school. Please call our office to make an appointment 573-324-2111 for Wednesday, July 15th or Wednesday, August 5th from 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. at our office located at 1 Healthcare Place, Bowling Green, MO 63334.

Private pay & insurance accepted. Ask us about the VFC program that  provides required childhood immunizations to those who are un-insured or under-insured at little to no cost.

Learn more about immunizations on our website >>>

Download the flyer >>>

Updated On-site Sewage Disposal System Ordinance for Pike County, Missouri

The Pike County Health Department has enacted an updated On-site Sewage Disposal System ordinance to begin on July 1, 2020.

(Updated 7/6/2020)

On July 1. 2020 a new version of the Onsite Wastewater Disposal System Ordinance became effective.  There are two major changes to this ordinance; there is no longer a 3-acre exemption and installers must carry a $20,000.00 bond. So, what does this mean?

Before this ordinance was enacted all properties in Pike County were required to follow the state requirements when designing and installing a new onsite wastewater treatment systems. However, only commercial properties and properties under 3-acres were required to have a permit and inspection by the Health Department. The new law requires all property owners, regardless of property size, to have a permit and inspection from the health department. The additional cost to citizens incurred will be $115.00 (for the permit) for property owners with MORE than three acres; there is no additional cost to property owners of under 3 acres, they have always paid the permit fee. All property owners have always been required to follow the state and county guidelines for septic installation, however, there was no oversite for properties larger than 3-acres. By removing this exemption to oversite, we are better protecting all our property owners and the environment regardless of lot size.

Existing systems, that are functioning properly, will be allowed to continue without permit or inspection. Only if that system needs major repair, replacement, or has a substantiated complaint about it, will it be required to have a permit and inspection from the Health Department.

The second major change is septic system installers are now required to carry a $20,000.00 (twenty thousand dollars) bond rather than a $10,000.00 (ten thousand dollar) bond. This is because the new advanced systems usually cost more than $10,000.00. Increasing this bond amount better protects our citizens, if that bond needs to be accessed there is enough money to replace the system.

This new ordinance represents the first time that the septic code in Pike County has been updated since 2001. In 2001 the Pike County Commissioners delegated the authority for septic system over site and code implementation to the Pike County Health Board, this authority is allowed through Chapter 198 RSMo and then in 2004 relinquished to the Pike County Health Department their authority of enforcement.  In the past 19 years no changes were made to the ordinance. The Pike County Health Board is made up of elected officials. They hold final approval for changes to this ordinance and are tasked with protecting public health. Appropriate septic systems, that properly treat human waste are an important step in protecting public health and property values.

At the time of this change Pike and Lincoln Counties were the only counties in our area that allowed any exemption to the permit/inspection section of the law. Lincoln County allows for properties of over 40 acres to install without a permit, however it is still required to be an appropriate system. Allowing for this exemption was negatively impacting our citizens. Many bank loans are requiring proof of an appropriate septic system and without a permit/inspection there is no proof. When there is no proof, the next step is to hire a septic system inspector and try to find the system to prove that it is appropriate. Citizens are also having trouble re-financing without proof of an appropriate system.

A $115.00 permit fee for all property owners regardless of their property size is now required. Previously, all property owners had been required to install an appropriate system but those with 3 acres or more did not require an inspection to ensure a proper system was being installed. With this fee comes the proof many financial institutions are requiring. This proof, in the form of an inspection report and all additional system information, is required to be kept as records at the Health Department for the next 100 years and so will be available for our citizens.

These two changes: removing the 3-acre exemption and increasing the installers bond are important to protect public health and Pike County property values. If you have additional questions or concerns with this matter please contact Stefanie Davis, Environmentalist, Pike County Health Department at 573-470-1541 x113

The new ordinance can be found here on our website.

Protecting our Communities is a Team Effort

Food Vendor - Food Safety Training | Mobile Food Vendor - Food ...

As summer starts to make its way into our area that means that more events will soon be organized. While our agency continues to recommend that our county residents follow the guidelines issued by the State of Missouri as well as the CDC, we strive to assist local businesses, schools, and community organizations on how to implement these recommended actions.

As your local Health Department, our role is to help the community understand and put into action these recommendations through guidance and education. While these guidelines are only recommendations for what we can do during these re-opening phases to slow the spread of COVID-19, we urge the community to continue making safe decisions particularly in ways that protect persons at increased risk of severe illness. During this phase we continue to encourage social distancing and proper hand hygiene as it is each individuals responsibility to take action against this virus.


We encourage the public and community entities to reach out to us if you would like assistance in how to implement mitigation strategies during these re-opening phases. Please use our COVID-19 contact form that can be found on our dedicated COVID-19 webpage found on our website at or call 573-324-2111.

Mother’s Day Breastfeeding Photo Shoot

You should be proud of your breastfeeding journey regardless if you exclusively breastfeed, pump, or maybe you do a little of both; because you work hard to provide the best nutritional health for your children. Our agency’s WIC program has dedicated Breastfeeding Peer Counselors that have a passion for helping moms through their breastfeeding journey. It can sometimes be stressful but some times we just need to take a step back and realize the amazing things our bodies have done during pregnancy and continue to do after childbirth to provide for our children. We are here to support you; you are a super hero and you deserve to have this moment in life captured so that you can treasure it forever.

Our agency has teamed up with Kimberly Chandler Photography once again this year to offer a free photo session for local breastfeeding mothers. These FREE, 15 minute sessions are by appointment only, and mothers will receive 1-2 edited images via digital download. It will be held on Monday, June 1st from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. at the Henry Lay Sculpture Park and limited time slots are available. Make you appointment today by calling Leah Diffey, Breastfeeding Peer Counselor at 573-324-2111 ext. 136.

Want to learn more about our WIC (Women, Infants & Children) program and how it can help? Visit our website here for more information and income guidelines >>>

Download the flyer here >>> Mother’s Day Photo Shoot 2020

Back 2 School Shot Clinic Scheduled

School Shot Clinics are typically scheduled in May and August of each year at various locations that make it easy for parents to get the required vaccinations for their children that are headed back to school. Private pay & insurance accepted. Ask us about the VFC program that provides required childhood immunizations to those who are un-insured or under-insured at little to no cost.

Our Back 2 School Shot Clinic is currently scheduled for Wednesday, May 27th, 2020 from 8am-6pm at our office. Please call for an appointment as we are not accepting walk-in’s at this time. Call Robyn Orf at 573-324-2111. You can learn more about immunizations on our website here >>>

Find out what vaccines are recommended for yoru 4-6 year old here >>>

You can download the flyer here: 5.27.2020 Back 2 School Shot Clinic


The figure is a photo of an infant receiving a checkup with text about the importance of childhood vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Effects of the COVID-19 Pandemic on Routine Pediatric Vaccine Ordering and Administration — United States, 2020

“Vaccine Tracking System data indicate a notable decrease in orders for VFC-funded, ACIP-recommended noninfluenza childhood vaccines and for measles-containing vaccines during period 2 compared with period 1 (Figure). The decline began the week after the national emergency declaration; similar declines in orders for other vaccines were also observed. VSD data show a corresponding decline in measles-containing vaccine administrations beginning the week of March 16, 2020. The decrease was less prominent among children aged ≤24 months than among older children (Figure). The subsequent increase in vaccine administrations observed in late March was more prominent in younger than older children.” Continue reading >>>

PCHD Reports First COVID-19 Death




Media Contact:

Tracy Brookshier, Public Information Officer

Media Line: (573) 324-2111 ext. 140



Pike Health Department Reports First Death of COVID-19


PIKE COUNTY, MO (May 8, 2020) – The Pike Health Department today was notified of the first death of a Pike County resident due to COVID-19. The resident was an elderly female.  She test positive for COVID-19 on April 24, 2020.

“It is with a heavy heart that we extend our sympathy,” says Administrator Rhonda Stumbaugh “our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time”.

Stumbaugh stressed the importance of following guidelines from the Missouri Department of Health as well as the Pike County Health Department.  It is a crucial time, she said, “that we all work together and do our part to stop the spread of COVID-19 to prevent any more precious lives taken as a result of this virus”.

Older adults and people of any age who have serious underlying medical conditions may be at higher risk for more serious complications from COVID-19. If you think, you have been exposed to COVID-19 and develop a fever and symptoms, such as cough or difficulty breathing, call your health care provider for medical advice before showing up.

For more information, visit the DHSS website at or the CDC website at A statewide COVID-19 hotline also operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 877-435-8411.


Download the press release here >>>



Do You Know Your Tools2Thrive? – Mental Health Awareness Month

While 1 in 5 people will experience a mental illness during their lifetime, everyone faces challenges in life that can impact their mental health. The good news is there are practical tools that everyone can use to improve their mental health and increase resiliency – and there are ways that everyone can be supportive of friends, family, and co-workers who are struggling with life’s challenges or their mental health.


This May is Mental Health Month Pike County Health Department Home Health & Hospice is highlighting #Tools2Thrive – what individuals can do daily to prioritize their mental health, build resiliency in the face of trauma and obstacles, support those who are struggling, and work towards a path of recovery.


One of the easiest tools anyone can use is taking a mental health screen at when they need answers. It’s a quick, free, and private way for people to assess their mental health and recognize signs of mental health problems.


This May, we are also exploring topics that can help you build your own set of #Tools2Thrive – recognizing and owning your feelings; finding the positive after loss; connecting with others; eliminating toxic influences; creating healthy routines; and supporting others – all as ways to boost the mental health and general wellness of you and your loved ones.


When it comes to your feelings, it can be easy to get caught up in your emotions as you’re feeling them. Most people don’t think about what emotions they are dealing with but taking the time to really identify what you’re feeling can help you to better cope with challenging situations. It’s ok to give yourself permission to feel. We also know that life can throw us curveballs – and at some point in our lives we will all experience loss. It may be the end of a relationship, being let go from a job, losing a home, or the death of a loved one. It is natural to go through a grieving process. By looking for opportunity in adversity or finding ways to remember the good things about who or what we’ve lost, we can help ourselves to recover mentally and emotionally.


It also is true that connections and the people around us can help our overall mental health – or hurt it. It’s important to make connections with other people that help enrich our lives and get us through tough times, but it’s equally important to recognize when certain people and situations in life can trigger us to feel bad or engage in destructive behaviors. Identifying the toxic influences in our lives and taking steps to create a new life without them can improve mental and physical health over time. And we know that work, paying bills, cleaning, getting enough sleep, and taking care of children are just some of the things we do each day – and it is easy to be overwhelmed. By creating routines, we can organize our days in such a way that taking care of tasks and ourselves becomes a pattern that makes it easier to get things done without having to think hard about them.


For each of us, the tools we use to keep us mentally healthy will be unique. But Pike County Health Department Home Health & Hospice wants everyone to know that mental illnesses are real, and recovery is possible. Finding what work for you may not be easy but can be achieved by gradually making small changes and building on those successes. By developing your own #Tools2Thrive, it is possible to find balance between work and play, the ups and downs of life, and physical health and mental health – and set yourself on the path to recovery. For more information, visit Find local mental health resources on our website at and learn more about the mental and behavioral health services that we offer at our office with the help of Clarity Behavioral Health. Follow Pike County Health Department Home Health & Hospice on facebook  or twitter for Mental Health resources throughout the month of May.

Show me Strong Recovery Plan

Missouri Governor Parson released information yesterday afternoon regarding the initial recovery phase for our state. This Order establishes the minimum requirements that must be complied with statewide. Our agency and local authorities are able to enforce more restrictive public health requirements for businesses or individuals depending on the current COVID-19 threat/evaluation of our county.

Pike County’s Stay-At-Home Order expires on Thursday, April 30th at 11:59 p.m. Once this order has expired, residents are encouraged to follow state guidelines of the Stay Home Missouri order and Show-Me Strong Recovery Plan. Even though the state is “opening” this does not mean we are immune to this virus and we should continue to practice social distancing, proper hygiene and other preventative measures to keep our numbers low. We are all ready to get back to “normal” but we need to ensure we are doing so with much caution.


The following information was obtained from Missouri Governor Parson’s website


Missouri’s initial recovery phase begins May 4, 2020, and during this phase we can gradually start to reopen economic and social activity. This will be a deliberate process, and is flexible to adapt to the situation. Some communities may be able to reopen at a faster rate, while others may need to continue restrictions to keep the virus from spreading. During this time, we should limit our activity and interactions and continue to maintain social distancing and practice good hygiene to protect our neighbors and ourselves.

Show-Me Strong Recovery Order, through May 31, 2020

Stay Home Order, EXTENDED through May 3, 2020

Stay Home Order – FAQs

Stay Home Order, through April 24, 2020



Missouri’s economic recovery plan will focus on the diversity of Missouri – its people, businesses, communities, and infrastructure, among others. A strategic “re-opening” of Missouri’s economy will not be successful without proactive steps taken to mitigate risk of COVID-19 resurgence by our state’s businesses, communities, and citizens.

While the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has issued guidance on what the federal government considers “essential businesses,” Governor Parson believes that ALL of Missouri’s businesses and employers are vital to our state’s economy and individual well-being.

General Guidelines to Reopen Missouri’s Economy

During Phase I, we can gradually start to reopen economic and social activity. This will be a deliberate process, and is flexible to adapt to the situation. Some communities may be able to reopen at a faster rate, while others may need to continue restrictions to keep the virus from spreading. During Phase I, we should limit our activity and interactions and continue to maintain social distancing and practice good hygiene to protect our neighbors and ourselves.

The plan to reopen the economy and get Missourians back to work is based on ensuring a healthy workforce by:

  • Flattening the curve and expanding healthcare capacity, while utilizing federal programs and deploying state resources;
  • Making decisions based on Missouri-specific data and medical expertise;
  • Protecting healthcare workers, first responders, and other direct care workers so that our citizens have access to the care they need;
  • Looking after our most vulnerable and at-risk populations;
  • Partnering with community leaders and incorporating flexibility based on each community’s circumstances;
  • Slowing and containing the spread of COVID-19; and
  • Implementing a measured approach to mitigate risk of a resurgence.

The ability to reopen Missouri’s economy rests on both our healthcare system and our healthcare suppliers. Together, we will accomplish the following goals:

  • Rapidly expand testing capacity and volume in the state, including testing for those who are currently contagious and those who have developed immunity to the virus;
  • Expanding reserves of personal protective equipment (PPE) by opening public and private supply chains, and continuing to utilize Missouri businesses in that effort;
  • Continuing to monitor and, if necessary, expanding hospital and health care system capacity, including isolation and alternate care facilities for those that cannot self-quarantine at home; and
  • Improving the ability to predict potential outbreaks using Missouri’s public health data.

General Guidelines for Missourians

  • Citizens who feel sick should stay home
  • Continue to practice good hygiene, including:
  • Washing hands with soap and water, or using hand sanitizer, especially after touching frequently used items or surfaces;
  • Avoiding touching your face;
  • Sneezing or coughing into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow; and
  • Disinfecting frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.
  • Avoid socializing in groups that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing (receptions, trade shows, etc.). When in public (parks, outdoor recreation spaces, shopping malls, etc.), individuals should maximize physical distance from others.
  • Minimize travel to the extent possible.

General Guidelines for Business

  • Prepare to implement basic infection prevention measures informed by industry best practices, regarding:
    • Protective equipment;
    • Temperature checks;
    • Testing, isolating, and contact tracing; and
    • Sanitation, including disinfection of common and high-traffic areas (entrances, breakrooms, locations where there is high-frequency employee interaction with the public/customers).
  • Modify physical workspaces to maximize social distancing.
  • Minimize business travel.
  • Develop an infectious disease preparedness and response plan, including policies and procedures for workforce contact tracing when an employee tests positive for COVID-19.
  • Monitor workforce for indicative symptoms. Do not allow symptomatic people to physically return to work until cleared by a medical provider.
  • Develop, implement, and communicate about workplace flexibilities and protections, including:
    • Encouraging telework whenever possible and feasible with business operations;
    • Returning to work in phases and/or split shifts, if possible;
    • Limiting access to common areas where personnel are likely to congregate and interact; and
    • Ensuring that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance.

General Guidelines for Communities

  • Closely monitor and track the containment, spread, and any resurgence of COVID-19, and adjust plans as necessary.
  • Limit situations where citizens cannot maintain social distancing.
  • Facilitate widespread testing of symptomatic and asymptomatic citizens.
  • Work to protect the most vulnerable populations.


Under guidance from the federal government, we are considered an “essential business.” How does this order affect me?

This order applies to ALL Missouri businesses. Businesses that are categorized as “essential” by the federal government should continue current operations, and incorporate our General Guidelines for Business outlined above.

Businesses that were considered “non-essential” by the federal government may resume operations in Missouri in accordance with the Order and these guidelines.

What if my job requires me to be within six feet (6’) of another employee and/or customer?

The social distancing requirements do not apply to individuals performing job duties that require contact with other people closer than six feet (6’).

Businesses and employees should work together to implement public health and safety measures for employees and customers, using the above direction as a guide, in addition to any guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Under these conditions, businesses such as barber and cosmetology shops, hair salons, and tattoo parlors are allowed to operate.

Gyms and hotel swimming pools can also open if they adhere to strict social distancing and sanitation protocols.

Are there restrictions on businesses?

Yes. Workplaces that are engaged in retail sales to the public must limit the number of customers in each retail location to the following standards based on the workplace’s fire or building code occupancy:

  • For smaller locations (less than 10,000 square feet), they must maintain 25 percent or less of the authorized occupancy;
  • For larger locations (10,000 square feet or greater), they must maintain 10 percent or less of the authorized occupancy.

Employees at the workplace and vendors delivering products into the store are not included in this calculation and do not count toward occupancy limitations.

Are grocery stores considered a business “engaged in retail sales to the public?”

Yes, and such stores are subject to the occupancy limitations in the Order.

Grocery stores are strongly encouraged to set aside hours, outside of regular store hours, to allow third-party grocery delivery services to provide grocery shopping services for their customers. This will allow individual shoppers to shop during regular store hours, and reduce congestion during such times. This will further allow such services to function in an environment where their services may be in excessive demand.

Shoppers at all retail stores are also encouraged, when possible, to limit the number of people shopping in stores to one person per household at any one time. This will better enable all families to access necessary goods in grocery stores, and further reduce the number of individuals necessary to access such goods.

My local jurisdiction does not have a building or fire code. Do the limitations on square footage apply to my retail business?

Yes. If your business is not subject to fire or building code occupancy limitations set by your local jurisdiction, you should calculate your occupancy limits based on the following formula:

For a business with a retail location less than 10,000 square feet:

  • Building Square Feet divided by 30 = Quotient
  • Quotient x .25 = Occupancy Limit

For a business with the retail location of 10,000 square feet or more:

  • Building Square Feet divided by 30 = Quotient
  • Quotient x .10 = Occupancy Limit


  • A 40,000 square foot grocery store would be able to have 133 customers in the store at any one time.
  • An 8,000 square foot retail store would be able to have 66 customers in the store at any one time.

My local fire or building code occupancy limitation calculation is lower than that allowed for businesses without any fire or building code limits, or is lower than a neighboring jurisdictions fire or building code limitations. Can I apply the same formula for calculating occupancy for my business as those without a code?

Yes. You may use either the calculation set forth above for businesses without a fire or building code occupancy limitation, or the calculation applied to your business based upon your specific local jurisdiction fire and building code occupancy limitation, whichever is greater.

  • My 30,000 square foot retail business has a local jurisdiction fire or building occupancy limitation of 700 people. Using the formula allowing only 10% of the local jurisdiction, I would be able to have 70 customers in my store at any one time. For an identical business without a local fire or occupancy limitation, they would be able to have 100 customers in their store at any one time. Under this guidance, you may have up to 100 customers in your store at any one time.
  • My 6,000 square foot retail business has a local jurisdiction fire or building occupancy limitation of 150 people. Using the formula allowing only 25% of the local jurisdiction, I would be able to have 37 customers in my store at any one time. For an identical business without a local fire or occupancy limitation, they would be able to have 50 customers in their store at any one time. Under this guidance, you may have up to 50 customers in your store at any one time.

My business has a public waiting room with congregate seating. Should I limit access to it?

Implementing a system where customers/citizens can wait inside their vehicles prior to entering the business is strongly encouraged, as are pre-scheduled appointments to minimize interaction between people. In situations where this is not feasible, such as public transit, medical offices, and parks, entities should develop public health and safety measures using the above direction as a guide, in addition to any guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Does this order prevent me from receiving non-emergency healthcare, such as a routine eye exam or dental care?

Medical providers, such as dentists and optometrists, may provide usual services at their discretion. The social distancing requirements do not apply to individuals performing job duties that require contact with other people closer than six feet (6’).

Medical providers should develop and implement public health and safety measures for employees and patients, using the above direction as a guide, in addition to any guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Implementing a system where patients can wait inside their vehicles prior to entering the office is strongly encouraged, as are pre-scheduled and spaced out appointments to minimize interaction between people.

May restaurants open their dining rooms?

Yes. In concert with the Missouri Restaurant Association, we are strongly encouraging restaurants to prioritize public health and safety by implementing measures including, but not limited to, regulating self-serve options such as salad bars and buffets, using disposable menus, and employee use of personal protective equipment if available. Tables and seating shall be spaced out according to social distance requirements.

The continued use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is encouraged.

Food court establishments may operate, but the social distancing and communal seating requirements will prevent them from offering seating.

How do these guidelines apply to childcare facilities?

Daycares, childcare providers, or schools providing childcare for working families can continue operations, but should follow the CDC guidance targeted for those operations found at:

May I attend service at my place of worship?

Yes. As long as the social distancing requirements are followed, places of worship are allowed to hold in-person services. Common practices that may occur with worship services, such as hand shaking and shared communion cups, should be avoided. Places of worship are also encouraged to continue use of alternative means of services through streaming services and other opportunities.

I am a member of a fraternal organization. Are we allowed to open our building and meet?

Yes. Fraternal organizations such as the Knights of Columbus and the Fraternal Order of Eagles may gather, but must adhere to the social distancing and communal seating areas requirements.

Will I still be able to participate in my local parks and recreation organized activities and/or camps this summer?

Yes. Traditional summer activities such as utilizing aquatic facilities, community centers, fitness centers, libraries, organized athletics, and camps offer a variety of recreational opportunities for Missouri citizens. If these services are offered, we encourage adjustments be considered to mitigate the risks of contracting or spreading COVID-19 between participants, patrons, and staff, such as limiting the number of participants, modifying activities, restructuring programs, and increasing sanitization measures for facilities and participants.

We also advise areas of high touch or high traffic, such as playgrounds, remain closed.

Can I attend an event at a large venue or stadium, or go to a movie theater?

Yes. However, seating shall be spaced out according to social distancing requirements.

This will apply to events such as amusement parks and attractions, concerts, funerals, museums, school graduations and weddings.

How will this order be enforced?

The State is working with local health authorities to support the order. Local health authorities and law enforcement maintain the same jurisdiction and authority they have always had.

Can my local health authority impose requirements that are more restrictive?

Yes. This Order establishes the minimum requirements that must be complied with statewide. Local health authorities may enforce more restrictive public health requirements for businesses or individuals.

The only exception is the Order from the Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services dated March 24, 2020, removing the authority of a local health authority from closing or restricting the operations of a business which is a part of the food supply, whether that be agricultural production, manufacturing, distribution, or sale of food. This limited waiver does not limit the authority of a local health authority from closing or restricting the operations of a retail food establishment.

How long is this order in effect?

The Order is in place through Sunday, May 31, 2020. The Order will be re-evaluated before it expires, and may be further restricted, less restricted, or extended in the current form.


This information directly from Missouri Governor Parson’s Website >>>

50 Years of Earth Day: 10 Fun Activities

This year, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day on Wednesday, April 22, 2020. The connection that we have to nature, plants, and the land is integral to our health and all that we are. Earth Day reminds us to take care of our planet—whether it’s cleaning up litter, planting more trees, recycling and re-purposing, or going on a walk in a green space amidst the wildflowers.

Despite the current global situation, we can still celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day our own way! Most years, Earth Day events range from river cleanups to invasive removals. With social distancing in place for many of us this April, Earth Day has gone digital. Virtual events, like environmental lectures and films, will take place on Earth Day (Wednesday, April 22) instead. To see a catalog of official events, visit



The first Earth Day was held on April 22, 1970. Dealing with serious issues of toxic drinking water and air pollution, an impressive 20 million Americans—10% of the population—ventured outdoors and protested together. President Richard Nixon lead the nation in creating the Environmental Protection Agency which followed with laws including the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act. Read more from

McConnell originally chose the spring equinox (March 21, 1970) and Nelson chose April 22, which ended up becoming the official celebration date. (Given that the date of the spring equinox changes over time, it could have made things more complicated to go with that date!)

Today, Earth Day is a time not only to demonstrate our support for environmental protections but it’s also become a popular day for many communities to gather together and clean up litter, plant trees, or simply reflect on the beauty of nature. We’ve provided a list of activities and projects that you can do to improve your local environment further down the page!


Celebrate Earth Day by appreciating and respecting the natural world. Here are some ideas to inspire you!

  1. Support our native bees:  The super-pollinators of the garden are … native bees! Learn more about these amazing heroes of pollination—and see how to make a native bee house (much like a bird house!). See how to make a bee-friendly garden habitat.
  2. Recycle and repurpose! Gardening needn’t be expensive. See ideas on recycling and repurposing garden items to make something out of nothing—and save money! We also have ideas on how to reuse in the kitchen and in the home and re-purpose everyday household items!
  3. Plant wildflowers! We’ll show you how to grow wildflowers in your garden for the pollinators—and to lift your spirits, too! Also, see our guide on choosing wildflower varieties which will thrive where you live.
  4. Reduce plastic dependency: Plastic permeates every aspect of our lives, including the garden. But as the world wakes up to its addiction, just how easy is it to ditch plastic while growing and storing more of our own food? See our ideas on how to garden without plastic. Don’t forget to recycle what plastic you can. See a Plastics Recycling Chart. And also, know what’s in all those bottled drinks!
  5. Go native! Plants thrive best when they’re natural to your area. See our article on native plant landscaping and 10 tips for an eco-friendly garden.
  6. Bring nature into the garden with plants that attract butterflies and plants that attract hummingbirds!
  7. Start an organic vegetable garden. Here are tips on organic seed-starting, and our Beginner’s Guide to Vegetable Gardening to get you started.
  8. Conserve water! See our tips for watering wisely in the garden and tips on how to create your own rain garden. Also, avoid over-watering. Know how much your garden really needs with our watering chart! Watch our video demonstrating 10 smart watering tips for a healthy garden garden.
  9. Plant more trees! Talk to your local government about planting more trees and native garden beds in public spaces, or consider planting your own on your property! See advice on how to plant a tree as well a our video demonstrating how to plant a fruit tree.
  10. Get kids involved! Pass down a love of nature and plants with kids. See our ideas on gardening with kids and also 6 simple kids’ planting activities from the Kids Almanac!

Find a ton of stay-at-home Earth Day ideas here: Celebrating Earth Day at Home


Learn more from The Old Farmer’s Almanac >>>



#STDWeek #TalkTestTreat

April 13-17 is STD Awareness Week and as your local health department STD Testing is one of the many services that we offer at our Walk-In Clinic. We have the ability to test for Gonorrhea, Syphilis, Chlamydia, HIV & Hep C for only $10.00*. “We know the importance of testing if you are sexually active, or even considering becoming sexually active.” Said Alyssa Crigger, Communicable Disease Nurse. “Remember to Talk. Test. Treat. to better protect your health as these three simple steps impact your sexual health greatly!”



Talk openly and honestly to your partner(s) and your healthcare provider about sexual health and STDs.

Talk with your partner(s) BEFORE having sex. Not sure how?  Here are some tips to help you start the conversation. Make sure your discussion covers several important ways to make sex safer:

  • Talk about when you were last tested and suggest getting tested together.
  • If you have an STD (like herpes or HIV), tell your partner.
  • Agree to only have sex with each other.
  • Use latex condoms the right way for every act of vaginal, anal, and oral sex throughout the entire sex act (from start to finish).

Talk with your healthcare provider about your sex life, and ask what STD tests you should be getting and how often.

  • Not all medical checkups include STD testing, so don’t assume that you’ve been tested unless you discuss it with your provider.
  • Ask your healthcare provider whether certain vaccines, like the hepatitis B vaccine or the HPV vaccine are right for you.



Get tested. It’s the only way to know for sure if you have an STD.

Many STDs don’t cause any symptoms, so you could have one and not know. If you’re having sex, getting tested is one of the most important things you can do to protect your health.

Find out which STD tests CDC recommends for you. Even if you’re pregnant, you can still get an STD. If you’re having sex, you’re still at risk.

If you’re not comfortable talking with your regular healthcare provider about STDs, our agency provides confidential testing that’s free or low cost.



If you test positive for an STD, work with your healthcare provider to get the correct treatment.

Some STDs can be cured with the right medicine, and all STDs are treatable. Make sure your treatment works by doing these things:

  • Take all of the medication your healthcare provider prescribes, even if you start feeling better or your symptoms go away.
  • Don’t share your medicine with anyone.
  • Avoid having sex again until you and your sex partner(s) have all completed treatment.

Your healthcare provider can talk with you about which medications are right for you.


*Can’t afford the test? No worries, our Public Health Initiatives (agency fundraisers) allow us to provide necessary public health services to our community regardless of ability to pay. Just give us a call! 573-324-2111. At this time, our Walk-In Clinic services are still available but our lobby is closed; if you are seeking services please call ahead to our office and we will escort you in.

Learn more about our Walk-In Clinic Services >>>

Learn more about what our agency does to prevent public disease >>>

Get more STD information from CDC website >>>