Scotland County Health Department Offers Guidance for “Stay Home Missouri’ Order

To further combat the spread of COVID-19 in Missouri, Dr. Randall Williams, Director of Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, under the direction of Governor Parsons, issued a Stay at Home Order which is effective April 6, 2020.

This Order directs all Missourians to avoid leaving their residences unless necessary and to practice social distancing when they need to travel outside their homes to work, access food, prescriptions, healthcare, and other necessities, or to engage in an outdoor activity.

This Order does not require all businesses statewide to close or cease operation.

Examples of activities not prohibited under the order are:

• Go to grocery, convenience, or warehouse stores

• Go to the pharmacy to pick up medications and other healthcare necessities

• Go to medical appointments (check with your doctor or provider first)

• Go to a restaurant for take-out, delivery, or drive-thru

• Go to a place of worship – just make sure that no more than 10 people are in any single space at one time and keep 6 feet of distance between you and others

• Take a walk, ride your bike, hike, fish, hunt, golf and be in nature for exercise – just keep six feet of distance between you and others

• Receive deliveries from any business which delivers

Individuals SHALL NOT do, the following things:

• Visit state office buildings that are closed to the public

• Stand closer than 6 feet of distance from others

• Visit loved ones in nursing homes, long term care facilities, and assisted living homes, unless you are providing critical assistance

The order does not require workplaces that do not qualify as “essential” to close. Businesses that are not covered by the guidance from the U S Department of Homeland Security, Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) discussed in the Order may remain open but must comply with the social gathering and social distance requirements of the Order.

This means that no more than 10 individuals can occupy a single space, including both employees and customers. Individuals must also maintain at least 6 feet of distance between themselves and others. Employees must also practice good hygiene and sanitation to limit the spread of COVID-19. Businesses are also encouraged to allow individuals, where feasible, to work from home to achieve optimal isolation.

Businesses can seek a waiver of the social gathering requirements from the Director of the Department of Economic Development.

The Order refers businesses to guidance by CISA to assist them in determining whether the work their employees do is considered “essential” during the COVID-19 response period. Some examples include, but are not limited to:

• Healthcare workers and caregivers

• Law enforcement, fire fighters, and first responders • Government operations

• Mental health and Social Service workers

 • Pharmacy employees

• Workers supporting groceries, pharmacies and other retail sales of food and beverage products, Restaurant carryout and quick-serve food operations and food delivery employees

• Farm workers

• Electricity and Utility Industry Employees

• Critical Manufacturing Employees (medical supply chains, energy, transportation, food, chemicals)

• Petroleum, Natural and Propane Gas Workers

• Transportation and Logistics Workers

• Communications and Information Technology Employees

Workplaces that qualify as essential under the guidance may remain open. Workers onsite should take all necessary precautions to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, including practicing social distancing except when performance of job duties require otherwise.

However the order still places restrictions on essential businesses as related to the COVID-19 issue.

Workplaces that qualify as essential under CISA guidelines and are engaged in retail sales to the public must limit the number of customers in each retail location to the following standards based on the workplace’s fire or building code occupancy:

• For smaller locations (less than 10,000 square feet), they must maintain 25 percent or less of the authorized occupancy;

• For larger locations (10,000 square feet or greater), they must maintain 10 percent or less of the authorized occupancy.

Employees at the workplace and vendors delivering products into the store are not included in this calculation and do not count toward occupancy limitations.

Grocery stores are considered a business “engaged in retail sales to the public” and as such, are subject to the occupancy limitations in the Order.

Grocery stores are strongly encouraged to set aside hours, outside of regular store hours, to allow third-party grocery delivery services to provide grocery shopping services for their customers. This will allow individual shoppers to shop during regular store hours, and reduce congestion during such times. This will further allow such services to function in an environment where their services may be in excessive demand.

Shoppers at all retail stores are also encouraged, when possible, to limit the number of people shopping in stores to one person per household at any one time. This will better enable all families to access necessary goods in grocery stores, and further reduce the number of individuals necessary to access such goods.

Limitations on square footage apply to my retail business, even if the local jurisdiction does not have a building code or fire code. Businesses not subject to fire code or building code occupancy limitations set by local jurisdiction, should calculate occupancy limits based on the following formula:

For a business with a retail location less than 10,000 square feet:

A. Building Square Feet divided by 30 = Quotient

B. Quotient x.25 = Occupancy Limit For a business with the retail location of 10,000 square feet or more:

A. Building Square Feet divided by 30 = Quotient

B. Quotient x.10 = Occupancy Limit

Examples: A 40,000 square foot grocery store would be able to have 133 customers in the store at any one time.

An 8,000 square foot retail store would be able to have 66 customers in the store at any one time.

Businesses may use either the calculation set forth above for businesses without a fire or building code occupancy limitation, or the calculation applied to the business based upon specific local jurisdiction fire and building code occupancy limitation, whichever is greater.

Daycare, child care providers, or schools providing child care for working families can continue operations but should follow the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance targeted for those operations.

Restaurants do not have to close. Food service providers may be open for delivery, drive-thru, or carryout services as long as the other requirements of the Order are being followed and individuals are encouraged to use those options.

Restaurants may provide dine-in services but can only have 10 people or less within the restaurant for dining service and shall maintain at least 6 feet of distance between, all individuals that are not family members. The 10 person limitation includes both employees and customers together.

The State is working with local health authorities to support and enforce the order. Local health authorities and law enforcement maintain the same jurisdiction and authority to enforce all legal actions.

While the state Order establishes the minimum requirements that must be complied with statewide, local health authorities may enforce more restrictive public health requirements for businesses or individuals.

The Stay at Home order is in place until late evening on Friday April 24, 2020. The Order will be reevaluated before it expires to make sure additional restrictions are not needed or an extension is required.