A couple of weeks ago, President Trump introduced the idea of gradually reopening non-essential businesses. He suggested that each states decide how and when this should be handled. For Governor Parson, every business in Missouri is essential…as are the workers. Therefore, he began a soft economic reopening of Lake Ozark businesses as well as others around our state starting on Monday, May 4th.
Lake Ozark Businesses Begin Economic Reopening
Instead of opening everything all at once, Governor Parson decided to open up in phases. We must achieve our goal of flattening the curve so our healthcare system can handle any cases they receive. Some places may open up faster than others. It depends entirely on how this pandemic affects each region. As we move into each new phase, the limitations or easing up of restrictions will be unveiled.
As of May 4th, all businesses may open back up to the public as long as they keep social distancing practices in place. This includes in-house dining at restaurants. Social distancing remains key to limiting the potential exposure to COVID-19. Retail establishments must limit individuals inside their establishment to a maximum 25% of the building or fire code occupancy rate for any building up to 10,000 square feet. If the building is more than 10,000 square feet, no more than 10% of the building’s occupancy rating may be inside at one time. For example, if a 5,000 square foot business has a max occupancy rate of 100 people, no more than 25 people (including staff) can be inside the building at one time.
Schools stay closed for the rest of the 2019/2020 school year. However, daycare providers may open back up as long as they abide by the CDC’s guidelines for safety. With so many outbreaks in assisted living facilities and nursing homes, the “no visitors allowed” remains in place there. However, our senior citizens still need social interaction with their loved ones. Call the facility your beloved family member resides in and talk to them about arranging a secure visit either via Facetime, Skype or Zoom. If possible, you might be able to stand outside their room and visit from a distance with a thick pane of glass between you. Get creative.
Churches may also open back up to the public as long as they abide by social distancing guidelines (stay six feet away from others). Government buildings also open back up to the public. This includes General Assembly meetings and procedures attendance.
Phase I remains in place until May 31st. At that time, the Governor may decide to extend Phase I or announce plans for Phase II. If we all do our part, we can get back to “normal” relatively quickly. That means maintaining a social distance of six feet between you and others you don’t live with. Wash your hands often and for at least 20 seconds at a time. Clean countertops, doorknobs, etc. often. Wear a mask in public, especially if you are vulnerable to COVID-19. Leave your shoes at the door to avoid tracking in dirt and bacteria from outside.