As Missouri reopens, continue to follow health guidance

It’s nice to see businesses start to reopen following a four-week statewide shutdown in Missouri, longer in some individual municipalities. The coronavirus pandemic has not only been a health issue but an economic one.

As people return to work and customers resume their patronization of businesses, it’s important to adhere to public health guidance.

On Friday, the Cape Girardeau County Public Health Center released its guidance in connection with Gov. Mike Parson’s recovery plan. Southeast Missourian reporter Marybeth Niederkorn wrote about the guidance in a story that appeared in the weekend edition of the Southeast Missourian. The story – along with the county’s complete guidance – may be viewed here.

In short, people must continue to practice social distancing and stay 6 feet apart whenever possible.

Personal-service businesses should operate by appointment only to limit the number of people in waiting rooms.

Retail operations should still limit the number of customers inside and make arrangements for social distancing at checkout.

Restaurants will make changes to accommodate social distancing, which will in many cases mean less capacity. Still, it’s a start.

Churches will be allowed to meet, but, again, providing for social distance will be important. And some churches are choosing to wait longer before resuming in-person gatherings.

Business employees and customers should continue to wear a mask. While this doesn’t necessarily protect the person wearing the mask from catching the coronavirus, it does prevent infected individuals from spreading it to others.

The chambers of commerce in Cape Girardeau, Jackson and Scott City along with VisitCape and Magnet are promoting a Reclaim Our Region campaign. Along with encouraging individuals to observe state and local orders, they ask individuals to seek opportunities to support the local economy and shift as much of your spending to local establishments. While online shopping has been convenient and even necessary during this pandemic, patronizing businesses with a local presence is important to the local recovery.

There’s light at the end of the tunnel. We’re not there yet, but we’re making progress. Adhere to public health guidance. And support your local economy. We’re all in this together.