Hannibal Mayor James Hark announced Saturday that the City of Hannibal strongly recommends and is requesting the closure of all places of public gathering, public dining rooms, and social gatherings and any others with similar environments, effective at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, March 23, 2020.

Mayor Hark, according to the KHQA website, said those businesses impacted by the Covid-19 virus should take advantage and seek assistance through the Small Business Administration by visiting their website at www.SBA.gov or by visiting the Hannibal Chamber of Commerce or Hannibal Regional Economic Development Council’s Facebook pages to obtain a link to disaster loan assistance information and other up to date information from the SBA.

Listed below are comments from Hannibal Mayor James Hark:

“We want to remind everyone that essential businesses and services will remain open, including: grocery stores, gas stations, pharmacies, drive through and curbside delivery and/or service. All essential city services will also continue, such as fire and police protection, as well as electric, water and sewer services and street and park repair and maintenance. We encourage you to continue to practice social distancing when making necessary trips to these places,” said Mayor James Hark.

“This is not a decision I have taken lightly, but out of love for my community and its people, I felt this was a necessary measure to ensure that we may reduce the impact and exposure to Hannibal citizens,” Hark continued.

“We fully recognize that there will be economic impacts during these times, but we must look out for the safety and health of families. Based on the science and research data emerging regarding this virus, these steps are necessary to protect our citizens. We cannot put a price on human lives. The more we ALL adhere to these guidelines, the faster we may return to our everyday lives and routines. Thank you for your support of each other during these difficult times,” said Hark. “Together we all can be the difference in our future success.”