Mayor Ken McClure and the Greene County Commission issued separate but similar Road to Recovery orders to provide businesses and other organizations with guidance to safely resume operations. The City’s order goes into effect at midnight, Monday, May 4 and expires at 11:59 p.m., May 31, 2020.
The orders are considered “Phase I” in a series of gradual phases reopening the economy in a safe and measured way.
The current Stay-at-Home orders, which were first put in place in late March to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19, expire at 11:59 p.m. May 3.
The intent of the Road to Recovery orders is to open more things up to include those previously referred to as non-essential businesses. The Road to Recovery orders still require businesses and organizations to adhere as much as possible to the social distancing and cleaning guidelines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including, but not limited to when customers are standing in line or when individuals, including employees, are using shared indoor or outdoor spaces.
Businesses providing personal care services (hair and nail stylists, estheticians, massage therapists, etc.) must require employees to wear a mask while providing services for which physical distancing is not possible and must require customers, to the extent possible while receiving the service, to wear a mask or other facial cover. Personal care service businesses must also limit the number of all persons, including but not limited to employees, vendors, and customers according to the occupancy formula listed below.
All other previously deemed non-essential businesses and any business engaged in retail sales or personal care services to the public must limit the number of customers in any particular business or retail location at any one time to a maximum of:
The result of the total square feet of that part of the building devoted to the subject business divided by 30 times 25% for locations with a square footage less than 10,000 square feet = Maximum number of people allowed.
Example: 2,500 total square feet / 30 X .25 = 20 people.
Businesses with a square footage of 10,000 square feet or more should divide the square feet of that part of the building devoted to the subject business by 30 times 10% = Maximum number of people allowed.
For dining establishments that offer indoor or outdoor seating, the maximum number of customers allowed in any particular indoor or outdoor location is determined by dividing the square footage of the indoor or outdoor dining area by 30 X .25.
No businesses may provide any business or non-business activity that enhances the risk of the spread of a communicable disease by bringing groups of people together, including but not limited to:
- Entertainment, movies, concerts and other live performances, dancing, billiards and pool;
- Exhibitions and museums;
- Contact sports, fitness or other classes, playgrounds;
- Religious services except as permitted below;
- Conferences and seminars;
- Bars, nightclubs and brewery taprooms.
Churches, synagogues, mosques, temples, and other similar religious facilities of any faith (“religious facilities”) may conduct "drive-in" services, at which participants gather in their vehicles and participate in the service together by remote means provided that:
- Motor vehicles are parked in every other parking spot or at least 9 feet apart.
- Participants do not interact physically with clergy, staff, or participants in other vehicles.
- No one exits a vehicle at any time while at the service.
- Participants, clergy and staff remain at least 6 feet apart from one another at all times, except participants that are part of the same household.
- Restrooms are closed except for emergencies.
Child care programs, including day camps which are primarily a child care program provided they comply with the requirements in this subsection. Child care programs must follow the social distancing provisions; must be carried out in stable groups, preferably with 10 or fewer (“stable” means that the same 10 or fewer children are in the same group each day); children must not change from one group to another; and if more than one group of children is cared for at one facility, each group must be in a separate room. Groups must not mix with each other; and child care providers must remain solely with one group of children.
According to the orders, public gatherings of more than 15 people are prohibited. Daily operations of a business are not considered a public gathering, unless the main outcome of their activities brings people together in a common area for an extended period of time. View additional guidelines at springfieldmo.gov/coronavirusresponse.
As of this morning, Greene County has reported 96 total cases of COVID-19; 17 of which are active cases. Eight have died. During the six weeks that residents have been asked to stay at home unless activity is essential, Greene County public health officials have ramped up testing significantly, identified and quarantined those who came in contact with positive cases, or isolated confirmed positive cases. Local hospitals have scaled operations by securing additional personal protective equipment (PPE), expanding bed and ventilator capacity. In total, 442 people have been under the watchful eye of local public health investigators at any one given time, as the battle against the new virus continues. This strategy is called contact tracing and has been critical in helping to contain the virus.
“A stepwise approach to reopening the community must continue to occur to balance public health and our community’s economic and workforce needs,” said Springfield-Greene County Health Director Clay Goddard. “We will continue to conduct close monitoring during the recovery phase to inform steps forward or backward.”
The timing of resuming full operations is key, said Mayor McClure.
“The measured approach we are taking to step out of the Stay-at-Home orders does more than continue to stop the spread of the disease. It does so, while allowing us to assess the impact of each step, in terms of case rate, hospital capacity and our community’s ability to have solid data from more extensive testing. The problem with opening everything up when things start to seem better is that we can go backward. I have faith in the Springfield-Greene County Health Department and in our community. We will continue to work through this together,” said Mayor McClure.
The Health Department launched an online dashboard that allows the public to view regional data related to COVID-19. As our community moves toward recovery, Goddard says it will be important that we know how the disease is moving through our population. This dashboard will inform community leaders and the public on the important metrics that will inform decision-making going forward.
This dashboard covers five areas, including:
- detailed case information, including total and daily cases based on a person’s onset of symptoms and active, deceased and resolved cases.
- hospital capability, which is based on hospital staffing, supplies and space available to respond to COVID-19.
- public health capability, which is based on the capability to conduct epidemiological interviews and contact tracing, and risk pertaining to unmitigated community exposure for COVID-19.
- testing capability, which measures the estimated community testing capability for COVID-19. The index is based on the available testing and result turnaround time.
- regional data information, which measures the estimated public health capability and testing capability for surrounding counties.
It can be accessed at http://health.springfieldmo.gov/coronavirus and will be updated throughout the week.
While government facilities are exempt from the new orders, most City and County facilities remain closed to the public with services available virtually. Visit http://www.springfieldmo.gov/coronavirusresponse for more information.