JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
After months of health orders restricting businesses and group sizes, Cole County will join the list of counties under no restrictions starting Tuesday, as the state health order expires.
Governor Mike Parson announced Thursday, phase two of his reopening plan includes no order, but allows county and city leaders to place restrictions if they believe the specific community needs it.
The Cole County Health Department decided to follow the state-wide health order, and the communicable disease coordinator Chezney Schulte said it plans to stick with the state.
The department is still recommending that businesses and residents continue to practice 6 feet of social distancing, avoiding large crowd along with personal hygiene and regular cleaning to prevent further spread.
"Those simple steps that seem way to simple to prevent COVID-19 really go a long way," Schulte said.
As for businesses, Schulte said continuing to limit the number of people congregated in small areas, like waiting rooms, as well a continuing to space out customers.
"Although there's not an order in place, kind of continuing with that creativity that helps limit group gatherings wherever it may be," Schulte said.
Schulte said it's hard to say whether or not there will be an uptick in the case of COVID-19 with the lifted restrictions.
"We're prepared for that, we would expect that, but we hope it's not drastic in Cole County, we hope that those measures that are in place still prevent the spread of illness," Schulte said.
If there is a spike in cases, she said there is no set number or point that would spark another local order. Schulte said it would come down to analyzing the data and seeing if community spread is becoming a large scale issue in the county.
Several businesses ABC17 News spoke with on Jefferson City said they would be continuing to practice social distancing and health precautions after the order lifts Tuesday
One owner of Cork and Board in downtown Jefferson City Cara Alexander-Stark said a lot of precautions they adopted under the orders are now a part of their best practices.
"Some of the things we will be continuing to do it wearing our gloves, disposing of our menus, encouraging a proper amount of distance between our tables," Alexander-Stark said.
She said her staff will continue to wear masks when it is impossible to social distance, as well as expanding seating outdoors and to The Cinema, a business next door. The safety of staff and customers has been a top priority for the business since COVID-19 hit.
"We hope you understand we are doing everything in our power to continue our best practices," Alexander-Stark said. "We're making sure as much as we can people are comfortable inside our establishment because that's always our number one goal."
Watch ABC17 News at 9 and 10 for a full report.