The city of Springfield and Greene County this morning announced a "half step" toward reopening the community amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"This half step will allow for some additional business activity without fully opening consumer traffic," said Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director Clay Goddard, during a livestreamed news conference.
Mayor Ken McClure said the plan, effective immediately, allows nonessential businesses to resume operations on a limited basis, specifically curbside pickup and delivery.
The first phase of reopening, he said, will be active until May 4. The city and county have extended the local stay-at-home order until then, the same day that the state's edict is scheduled to end. The local stay-at-home order previously was scheduled to last through April 24.
Springfield Planning and Development Director Mary Lilly Smith said nonessential businesses impacted include florists, clothing stores, and vape and cigarette shops.
"We are beginning the recovery. It starts today," McClure said. "This will be a gradual economic recovery plan.
"The worst thing we could do right now is to totally open up."
Previously, only companies deemed as essential were allowed to conduct business under the city and county's coronavirus restrictions. Essential businesses include health care, grocery, pharmacy, construction and financial institutions. Springfield Business Journal previously reported confusion among business owners who have been unsure whether to close amid the city-county and state orders.
Element Springfield South opened; Outlaw Gentlemen Barbershop added a second location; and wellness studio Stretch Zone launched.