Howell County residents, businesses look ahead to changes with stay-at-home order

HOWELL COUNTY, Mo. -- The City of West Plains has had a stay-at-home order for a week now. For the folks living in rural Howell County, there has been no order for them. That all changes on Monday, when the statewide stay-at-home order takes effect.

"Yesterday we counted, and we only had 39 people total, come through the door," The Outpost Flea Market owner Bethany Sullivan told KY3.

The Outpost Flea Market, which is located just south of West Plains, is used to seeing hundreds of people a day, roam around.

"We're one of the largest flea markets here in West Plains. So we have 150 vendors, right now, so not only vendors but people coming in here shopping has dropped dramatically," Sullivan added.

Owner Bethany Sullivan is planning to call county officials to see if the market is considered an essential business.

"On Monday, we're going to find out for sure if we're going to have to close the doors down," she exclaimed.

If she can stay open, she will push for online sales or maybe curbside or pickup orders.

"It's one of things that's hard. It's essential to many, many people, Sullivan explained. This is a paycheck for them. We definitely want to work with our vendors and bring in income anyway we can for them."

As of Friday, Missouri was one of ten states that didn’t have a statewide stay-at-home order.

Kim Gunter thinks Governor Parson might have acted a little slowly.

"He might have waited a little bit longer than he should've but they're doing it now, you know, so that will help," Gunter said.

"I think they have their facts in place, so whatever they say we're going to have to follow and just pray that it's the right thing to do," Sullivan noted.

No matter the case, Gunter wants everyone to play their part in taking social distancing seriously.

"I think that we need to take it as serious as we can so we can get back to life because I'm ready to get back to normal," Gunter told KY3.