New Phase II rules effective through Aug. 31

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Health Department encourages more masking at businesses to prevent COVID-19 spread

The Barry County Health Department has issued a new set of COVID-19 (coronavirus) Phase II Mitigation rules, effective through Aug. 31.

Among the rules are requirements for masking among employees of certain businesses, and the health department is encouraging other businesses to implement masking policies.

“Face coverings and physical distancing continue to be the most effective way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” a health department press release said. “Due to recent rapid increases of positive tests in and near Barry County, as well as the increase of COVID-19 cases in work places, these rules were implemented to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and the need for any additional restrictions. All persons, organizations, and businesses must comply; this may serve as your only notice.”

Requirement

Source Control Masking — Service providers/servers wearing a cloth or surgical style mask is required when providing personal services where physical distancing is not practicable. These services include, but are not limited to:

• All types of food and/or beverage service.

• Tanning salons and services, nail services, spa type services, therapeutic massage (unless under the care of a physician.)

• Hair cutting, styling, washing, or coloring services.

• Other types of non-physician dermatological services.

• Body decoration/modification services, including tattooing, piercing, branding, scarification, shaping, implants, scalpelling, and painting.

Recommendations

Strongly suggested practices to lessen the chance of contracting COVID-19 include:

• Enhanced Hygiene Practices — Owners and organizers are responsible to ensure surfaces that are frequently touched must be wiped with an appropriate antimicrobial solution that is allowed to air dry between individual users. An easy way to do this is using a bleach solution (1/3 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water) in a spray bottle, sprayed on the surface and not wiped.

• Physical Distancing — Separation of persons or groups by a minimum of 6 feet is recommended at all times.

• All buildings open to the public — All businesses, government offices, organizations, agencies, and places of worship may return to maximum occupancy, as allowed by regulation or ordinance.

• Persons at High Risk — Cloth face coverings are recommended at all times when in public or physical distancing (greater than 6 feet) cannot be maintained. Persons who are greater 65 years of age, who are immunocompromised or have chronic medical conditions are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and should follow the CDC guidance on face coverings. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/groups-at-highe... risk.html

Advice to Businesses

“Contract tracing shows that workplaces, even small businesses with few employees/visitors, are a significant source of community spread of COVID-19,” the press release said. “We are strongly urging you to enact the following at your Barry County business.”

Advice includes:

• Require staff members to wear masks at least while not 6 feet apart and any time a customer or visitor comes to the business.

• Require customers to wear masks upon entry to a facility, especially while traveling through shared spaces to an individual’s office or meeting space.

• Sanitize high-touch surfaces between each and every customer/visitor.

“We understand that mask requirements are a difficult subject to approach and often met with resistance, but it is vital that every business takes personal responsibility to protect community health,” the press release said. “Consider using the following to help staff and customers/visitors to understand the importance of preventative masking:

“Make sure staff knows that you care about their health and the health of their family members and that is first and foremost why masking is important. ‘I know masks are an inconvenience, but you are essential to our team and we want to protect you.’

“Explain to customers your responsibility to your employees and the community. ‘We are just trying to do what we can to protect our staff and our customers.’ You might consider also adding, ‘We, as a small business, have a small staff, and we have to protect them so we’re here to serve our customers.’

“Emphasize responsibility. ‘If we voluntarily institute these measures, we can keep the community safe and also keep from having business shut back down again. We want to do everything we can to protect the most vulnerable of us in our community and support the economy.’”

The release said the Barry County Health Department may be forced to enact stricter requirements if COVID cases continue to rise.

“If we work together to protect each other through voluntarily cleaning surfaces and wearing masks, we can avoid that,” it said. “Put on a mask. Have your employees and customers put on masks. We are all in this together.”

Pursuant to Section 192.300 RSMo and CSR 20-20.050(3), the Board of Trustees of the Barry County Health Department are authorized and have promulgated these orders intended to enhance the public health and prevent the infectious, contagious, communicable, or dangerous diseases, such as the COVID-19 virus, in the county.

The Barry County Health Department is authorized to promulgate such mandatory or advisory rules, policies, and guidance as is necessary and appropriate to implement the Order. Mandatory rules and policies so promulgated shall have the force of law to the greatest extent possible.

These rules are a phased community mitigation process that allow businesses to return to full operations while managing the likelihood COVID-19 spread in the community. If these rules are not complied with or prove ineffective, the department reserves the right to institute additional and more stringent mandatory rules.

The Barry County Health Department, pursuant Section 192.300 RSMo and CSR 20-20.050(3), may order businesses not compliant with these orders to remain closed for a time, as determined by the department, sufficient to ensure all appropriate control measures are instituted.

Additionally, the Barry County Health Department, upon notice of non-compliance with these orders may initiate legal action to seek a court judgement to ensure compliance.

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