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Jefferson County planning to reopen for business when statewide order lifts on May 4

The county will still have rules in place for both residents and businesses to follow to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19

JEFFERSON COUNTY, Mo. — In line with Missouri Gov. Mike Parson's order that all businesses in the state can reopen on May 4, Jefferson County has announced a plan and guidelines for reopening.

As of 11:59 p.m. on May 3, all businesses in Jefferson County will be allowed to reopen under phase 1 of the reopening plan the county said in a release.

However, the county will still have rules in place for both residents and businesses to follow to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19.

Here are the general guidelines the county is asking residents to abide by:

- Citizens who feel sick should stay home

- Continue to practice good hygiene, including:

- Washing hands with soap and water, or using hand sanitizer, especially after touching frequently used items or surfaces

- Avoiding touching your face

- Sneezing or coughing into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow

- Disinfecting frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible

- Avoid socializing in groups that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing (receptions, trade shows, etc.). When in public (parks, outdoor recreation spaces, shopping malls, etc.), individuals should maximize physical distance from others

- Minimize travel to the extent possible.

Here are the general guidelines the county is asking businesses to abide by:

- Prepare to implement basic infection prevention measures informed by industry best practices, regarding:

         - Protective equipment

         - Temperature checks

         - Sanitation, including disinfection of common and high-traffic areas (entrances, breakrooms, locations where there is high-frequency employee interaction with the public/customers)

- Modify physical workspaces to maximize social distancing

- Minimize business travel

- Develop an infectious disease preparedness and response plan, including policies and procedures for workforce contact tracing when an employee tests positive for COVID-19

- Monitor workforce for indicative symptoms. Do not allow symptomatic people to physically return to work until cleared by a medical provider

- Develop, implement, and communicate about workplace flexibilities and protections, including:

- Encouraging telework whenever possible and feasible with business operations

- Returning to work in phases and/or split shifts, if possible

- Limiting access to common areas where personnel are likely to congregate and interact

- Ensuring that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance

"We want to ask county residents and the business community to stay engaged and help us with continued social distancing and hygiene mitigation strategies," Jefferson County Executive Dennis Gannon said in a statement.

Businesses in Jefferson County are instructed to limit customers to 25 percent or less of the building's fire code occupancy for any retail location of less than ten thousand square feet, and 10 percent or less if a business is ten thousand square feet or more.

Restaurants are able to offer dine-in services, with six feet between tables and no more than 10 people at a single table.

Individual county and city leaders have jurisdiction in whether or not to follow Gov. Parson's timeline for reopening their respective communities.

As of April 27, Jefferson County had 151 total open positive cases, and has had four deaths related to COVID-19. A total of 267 people have tested positive in the county.

For more information, you can visit the Jefferson County website by clicking here.

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