Last edited 12:21 p.m., April 30, 2020
City of Springfield and Greene County officials this morning unveiled a gradual reopening of nearly all businesses next week amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The Road to Recovery orders issued by the government agencies provide businesses and other organizations guidance to safely resume operations. The city’s order goes into effect May 4 and expires May 31.
“It’s time to gradually reopen,” said Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director Clay Goddard, during a livestreamed news conference. “I know there will be people upset that we are reopening. I know there will be people who are upset we didn’t open sooner.”
Officials said the reopening orders are similar to a statewide edict announced on April 27 by Gov. Mike Parson. However, they said local limits on public gatherings are stricter than the governor’s order.
The city-county orders are considered Phase I in a series of gradual phases to reopen the local economy, according to local officials. Goddard said officials would reevaluate every three weeks.
“The intent of the Road to Recovery orders is to reopen almost all businesses and organizations without sacrificing public safety,” Mayor Ken McClure said.
Those providing personal care services, such as hair and nail salons, massage therapists and estheticians, must require employees to wear a mask while providing services when physical distancing is not possible, according to a news release. Those businesses must also require customers to wear a mask or facial cover.
All other previously deemed nonessential businesses engaged in retail sales or personal care services must adhere to occupancy limits.
Under the orders, businesses that are not allowed to reopen yet include bars, museums and movie theaters. Additionally, public gatherings of more than 15 people are prohibited.
Full details of the city’s order can be found on its website.
In Parson’s announcement last week, he said all businesses could reopen under Phase I of the Show Me Strong Recovery Plan.
However, strict social distancing guidelines must be followed, Parson said, noting local authorities may enforce more restrictive public health requirements for businesses or individuals.
Local officials previously announced April 21 the allowance of nonessential businesses to resume operations on a limited basis for curbside pickup and delivery services.
A pair of area medical colleges that received state grant funding in the fall are now investing the funds toward technology and new programs with the intent of attracting more students to the nursing profession.