Officials in several of Missouri's most populated cities and counties have issued orders to tighten restrictions as of Nov. 18 due to increased coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity within their jurisdictions. At the state level, most restrictions have been lifted since June, though businesses must still comply with certain mandates aimed at preventing new spikes in disease activity, such as performing temperature checks, enhancing sanitation procedures, enforcing social-distancing guidelines, monitoring employees for symptoms, and minimizing business travel, among other things.
Tighter local restrictions will enter into force in Kansas City and Jackson County starting Nov. 20. Under the new ordinances, all gatherings must be limited to a maximum of 10 people. Restaurants, taverns, and event venues must close nightly by 2200, operate at a maximum of 50-percent capacity, and ensure customers are seated and wearing facemasks except when eating or drinking. Gyms, fitness clubs, and recreation centers can also operate at a maximum of 50 percent capacity. The use of facemasks is required in all indoor spaces when more than one person is in the room.
Officials in Saint Louis county issued a safer-at-home order stipulating that residents must not leave their homes except to perform essential tasks such as going to work, attending to medical issues, exercising, or purchasing basic goods. Gatherings of more than 10 people are banned, and restaurants can only offer outdoor services, as well as delivery and carryout. Drinking establishments must cease all in-person services. Most businesses can operate at 25-percent capacity; medical centers, airports, schools and daycare facilities, and shelters are exempt. Individuals must wear facemasks outside of their homes.
Officials in the city of Saint Louis have also banned social gatherings of more than 10 people; restaurants, bars, event venues, and nightclubs can continue operating at 50-percent capacity and must close at 2300 nightly. Facemasks must be worn in all indoor public spaces and outdoors when social distancing is not possible.
Authorities could reimpose, extend, further ease, or otherwise amend any restrictions with little-to-no notice depending on disease activity over the coming weeks.
Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.
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