(Joplin, MO) – In a City Council meeting held on August 17, 2020, members of the Council decided in a five-to-four vote to allow the city-wide mask ordinance to expire. The ordinance was passed on July 8 and was set to end August 17. While an extension of the ordinance was ultimately rejected, the Council has stated that they strongly recommend that residents continue wearing masks in public facilities and during crowded gatherings.
Additionally, the City Council voted to continue with the City of Joplin’s reopening plans, moving forward to Phase 2, Step 4. This new step loosens restrictions on businesses and individuals within Joplin city limits. The following stipulations go into effect as of August 18, 2020:
- All occupancy restrictions for businesses, including bars, restaurants, gyms, places of worship, theaters, and pools, are removed, but social distancing must still be enforced. When possible, business operations should be conducted remotely.
- Each employee and patron that enters a facility should be screened for COVID-19 symptoms. If an individual exhibits symptoms, including a fever of 100.4° or more, cough, shortness of breath, chills, headache, muscle pain, sore throat, and loss of taste or smell, they should not be allowed to enter the premises.
- Sign-in sheets, touch pads, or touch surfaces should not be required for entry.
- Hand-washing stations and hand sanitizer should be available for all employees and patrons.
- Shared objects and equipment such as check presenters, condiments, digital ordering devices, menus, and pay stations should be disinfected after each use. Other frequently touched surfaces, including counters, water fountains, handrails, light switches, and door handles, should be disinfected hourly and facilities should be cleaned at least daily.
- Restaurant workers and those in the personal services industry, including barbers, cosmetologists, massage therapists, tattoo artists, etc., must wear masks when within six feet of customers.
- It is recommended that workers in the personal services industry wear disposable gloves and smocks and that these items be changed between clients. Clean capes and, in the case of haircuts, neck strips should be provided for clients to wear. These should be changed between clients.
- Mass gatherings are allowed with up to 250 participants.
The City Council also voted to exempt Joplin Schools from the City’s recovery plans, allowing school administrators to work with the Joplin Health Department and make independent decisions regarding school events and activities.
Step 4 of this phase will be sustained until the Council decides it is reasonable to move into Phase 3 of the reopening plan.
Lynn Onstot, Public Information Officer
City of Joplin
417.624.0820, ext. 204