City of St. Joseph releases plan to reopen the city

The city plans to adopt the state guidelines which call for the reopening of the state on May 4.

Posted: Apr 30, 2020 11:21 PM
Updated: May 8, 2020 10:17 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The City of St. Joseph announced its plan to reopen the city at a council meeting Thursday.

The city plans to adopt the state guidelines which call for the reopening of the state on May 4.

Social distancing will be required in public except for family members. It's also recommended to wear face coverings in public. Those who are at higher risk are advised to shelter in place.

The guidelines for businesses to follow are described below.

Generally, all businesses must comply with the following:

• Restrict access to common areas.
• Physically space employees, construct barriers between employees, or require employees to wear protective equipment (e.g. face coverings).
• Perform temperature checks when groups of 10 or more employees gather in common spaces.
• Require regular handwashing and disinfection of frequently touched surfaces.
• Routinely disinfect common areas and high-traffic areas.
• Limit employees' business-related travel and follow CDC travel guidelines.
• Continuously monitor for COVID-19 symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, or any other relevant symptoms per medical provider judgement) and require employees exhibiting symptoms to leave the premises.
• Contact the City of St. Joseph Health Department immediately upon learning of exposure to someone with a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis.
• Display informational postings issued by the city of St. Joseph.
• Physically space employees in accordance with the requirements of the State order.

Businesses that allow customers to enter must comply with the following additional requirements:

• Station sanitization products at entryways.
• Post signage and mark floors to designate distances of at least six feet in areas where lines form.
• Prohibit customers from congregating or waiting inside or outside the business.
• Space stationary customers at least six feet apart at all times.
• Construct barriers between customers and employee workstations to limit exposure.
• Restrict person-to-person contact.

In addition to the requirements stated above, certain businesses at which virus exposure is more likely to occur must adhere to additional health and safety measures.

Retail businesses must also limit occupancy to 25% of the facility's authorized fire or building code occupancy for a facility with less than 5,000 square feet or 10% of the facility's authorized fire or building code occupancy for a facility 5,000 square feet or more.

Businesses serving prepared foods and drinks may continue to serve customers through drivethrough, pickup, or delivery service. Restaurants may also return to providing dine-in service if the business requires advanced reservations or provides immediate seating and prohibits customers from congregating or waiting to be seated.

Restaurants must also record the name and phone number for a member of every party served and the dates and times during which they were in the business. That information must be provided to the City's Health Department when necessary to trace COVID-19 contacts.

Dine-in restaurants must also space tables at least six feet apart, prohibit use of communal seating areas to unconnected parties, and limit seating to ten people at a single table. Finally, reusable condiment containers such as salt shakers or ketchup bottles and reusable menus may not be used unless they are sanitized between uses.

Bars and taverns will continue to be prohibited from offering on-site service, but may serve customers via drive-through, pickup, or delivery, provided they do not accept face-to-face orders inside the business, they require six feet distance between people picking up prepared foods and drinks inside the establishment, and they require people to wait outside the establishment during the preparation of prepared food and drink orders.

Theaters, private clubs, bowling alleys, and other recreational venues must sanitize surfaces between uses by customers. This sanitation would include sanitizing bowling balls, golf carts, arcade games, and other instruments of the activities offered. They must also space customers who are not part of the same party at least six feet apart.

Fitness centers may reopen provided they arrange cardiovascular equipment to prevent use within six feet of other equipment and ensure all equipment and personal storage areas are sanitized between uses.

Salons, tattoo parlors, and others providing services that require person-to-person contact may continue operations provided they require advanced appointments and prohibit customers from congregating or waiting to be served. They must also space employees providing services by at least six feet or place barriers between workstations. All equipment must be sanitized between uses on separate customers. Employees must wear face coverings and customers must wear face coverings when face coverings will not interfere with the service provided. The business must record the name and phone number of all customers and the dates and times during which they were in the business. That information must be provided to the City's Health Department when necessary to trace COVID19 contacts.

City offices will continue to issue permits and conduct business by appointment until May 11, 2020, at which time city offices will likely be opened to the public with protective measures in place.

City playgrounds will remain closed to the public, but recreational facilities will open with additional restrictions to ensure social distancing and compliance with Fourth Amended Declaration and Order.

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Temperatures and humidity will continue to climb on Wednesday making it feel like a very humid day across northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. Temperatures will warm into the mid to upper 80s and increasing moisture and instability. This will likely mean shower and thunderstorm chances for the remainder of Thursday and Thursday night.
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