City council to set guidelines, safeguards for businesses and churches reopening next week

Published: Apr. 29, 2020 at 9:39 PM CDT
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Come Monday, Missouri businesses and churches will be able to open back up but with certain limitations.

Thursday, the West Plains City Council will meet to set its own guidelines for getting businesses going again.

Thursday at 4 pm, council will have a special meeting and is expected to pass an ordinance allowing businesses in the city to open back up.

However, the city will be adding some guidelines and safeguards for businesses and places of worship to follow, to make sure cases of COVID-19 don't spike here.

"Pretty much mirror the governor's reopening order, however as a city, we're trying to provide more guidelines for our businesses," City of West Plains City Administrator Tom Stehn told KY3.

Come Monday, restaurants can open with social distancing. That means no more than 10 people at a table, which will be spread six feet apart.

"Our's says the same thing, except we've added a statement such as, employees that take food orders or serve prepared foods to dine-in customers, are required to wear a protective mask or work behind a protective barrier," Stehn read.

Wages Brewing Company owner Phil Wages says he won't rush to re-open.

"Our goal is more to be extremely slow with our roll out," Wages exclaimed.

He will continue to do curbside pickups of food and beer and if things go smoothly and there is no spike in cases, he will think about opening his patio for a short time before allowing people back inside his taproom.

"We cannot take the risk of getting sick and I might sound a little paranoid but we have people to take care of and we want to take care of them," Wages added.

As for churches, the city is asking them to offer more services to keep crowds down.

First Baptist Church will open again on May 10th - Mother's Day.

"Which is traditionally the third largest Sunday of the calendar year for us, as far as attendance," Pastor John King explained.

Families will be asked to sit together and leave three chairs between them before others can sit.

"We've traditionally done two services on Sunday morning. We're going to do three instead," Pastor King told KY3.

The congregation will be asked to wear masks, no offering will be passed around, there will be no announcement booklets passed out and there will be no childcare.

"Just to try and make sure that we help people experience the gospel, without physically putting themselves in harms way," Pastor King stated.

As for beauty shops, hair salons, doctor's offices - the city says they will be asked to limit waiting areas to three people or fewer.

One option is to keep customers inside their cars until it's time to conduct business.

The city will be posting the guidelines to the city's website: