JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
Cole County is holding off on paying a medical supply company after coronavirus care packages were not delivered to each home in the county.
The Cole County Commission on Wednesday decided to hold off paying more than $315,000 for the packages. The cost for the boxes is covered by CARES Act funding.
The commission approved an emergency order on Nov. 10 to send out a COVID-19 care package with 50 surgical masks, hand sanitizer and an informational paper on COVID-19.
But there have been issues with shipping the boxes. Not all residents have received their boxes yet.
“We’re having hiccups along the way but the postmaster has become my best buddy,” Cole County Presiding Commissioner Sam Bushman said. “When somebody says they haven’t received their boxes, he gets to [them] pretty quickly.”
Bushman said the county is in talks with Missouri Medical Supply, the company in St. Louis supplying the packages, to get the boxes sent to everyone.
Bushman said during a commission meeting Wednesday that he has about 50 boxes at his business, Samuel’s Tuxedos, about 100 boxes at the commission offices in the Cole County Courthouse and another 250 at the Cole County Health Department. Bushman said Thursday that he believes there’s around 1,000 more boxes at the Cole County Emergency Management Office. He said people can visit the health department or Samuel’s Tuxedos if they didn’t receive a package and want one.
“We want our citizens to have them, we’ve paid for them … one way or another we want all of our citizens to have them,” Bushman said.
Bushman said if residents don’t want to use the masks given to them, they could donate them to local schools or churches.
“The schools have even reached out to the parents and said if they don’t want them, the schools would love to have these masks,” Bushman said. “These aren’t just your basic blue disposable masks, these are 98% effective … these are really good masks.”
Cole County resident Sue Kremer said she received her masks several weeks ago.
“Mainly we put them in the car so we have them on a as need basis,” Kremer said. “I appreciated receiving them, I thought it was a nice gesture.”
The coronavirus pandemic’s fall surge was in full swing when the commission approved sending the packages. The county saw 12 days in November with new cases of 100 or more.
However, Cole County has seen the same declining trend in coronavirus cases as the state as a whole. The county has reported 11 days this month with cases at 10 or fewer.