Officials in Missouri, US, continue to maintain some business restrictions due to coronavirus disease (COVID-19) activity as of Oct. 19. Although most statewide restrictions were lifted June 16 under Stage 2 of the state's economic recovery plan, businesses that have reopened 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 others. Moreover, state directives empower city and county officials to implement stricter restrictions within their jurisdictions if they consider it necessary to protect public health.

The local governments of the largest cities and counties in Missouri also have their own COVID-19-related measures in place. Officials in the city of Saint Louis have capped the operating capacity of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs which serve alcohol at 50 percent while mandating that such businesses close at 2300 nightly. The operating capacity of large event venues and cultural facilities in the city has been reduced to 50 percent. All establishments must continue to enforce social distancing and hygiene guidelines. The city maintains a requirement that protective face coverings be worn in all indoor public spaces and outdoors where social distancing is not possible. The new directives will remain in force until further notice.

Authorities in Kansas City, on the other hand, have extended that municipality's state of emergency and protective face covering requirement through at least Jan. 16. Under the extended Kansas City regulations, bars may only operate at 50 percent of their normal capacity; restaurants must enforce social-distancing guidelines and require patrons to wear protective face coverings until they are seated and dining. The order also suggests that businesses where patrons may come into contact with furniture for more than ten minutes keep a log of customers they have served; such logs will be used for contact tracing purposes. Protective face coverings are required in all indoor public spaces where social distancing cannot be maintained; this includes grocery and retail stores, salons, and gyms. Otherwise, most businesses are able to operate without capacity limits, provided they enforce social distancing measures.

Saint Louis County also continues to maintain certain regulations. Businesses and churches are limited to operating at 50-percent capacity, and bars must close at 2200 nightly. Gyms and fitness centers are limited to 25-percent capacity. Businesses that are allowed to operate must enforce social distancing guidelines and implement enhanced sanitation procedures. Establishments found in violation of the health rules can be shut down for two weeks. Gatherings are capped at 50 people. Residents must continue to wear face coverings at indoor public spaces; face coverings are also required while outdoors whenever social distancing is not possible. In Jackson County, most businesses may operate at 50-percent capacity; face coverings must be used in indoor public locations and on public transportation.

Some business disruptions are likely to persist. 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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