Businesses of Atchison County began the reopening process Monday, May 4. With the reopening comes regulations and guidance to follow to keep the spread of COVID-19 from occurring. Beginning May 4, the Economic Reopening Health Order states that Missouri businesses may reopen as long as they take steps to reduce the potential spread of COVID-19 (see https://showmestrong.mo.gov /businesses/).

We will not be able to return to the way things were right away. A strategic “re-opening” of our economy will not be successful unless all businesses, communities, and citizens take proactive steps to prevent the risk of COVID-19 resurgence.

Here are some common sense suggestions and guidelines for local businesses to aid in continued protection to our community.

Every business should:

• Follow the Governor’s Order and guidance regarding the number of customers allowed inside.

• Encourage workers and customers to wear face coverings (i.e. face masks).

• Encourage workers to wash hands frequently and between customers.

• Encourage workers to check their temperature before starting their shift; require workers to stay home if they are ill.

• Review sick leave policies to be consistent with public health guidance.

• Separate workers as much as possible or stagger employee work times.

• Discourage workers from sharing phones, desks, offices, or other work tools and equipment, when possible.

• Limit use of shared employee spaces, such as break rooms.

• Clean and sanitize restrooms frequently.

• Clean and sanitize work areas and frequently-touched surfaces often (credit card terminals, light switches, door handles, countertops, etc.).

• Provide resources that promote personal hygiene. (i.e., tissues, no-touch trash cans, hand soap, alcohol-based hand rubs containing at least 60 percent alcohol, disinfectants, and disposable towels).

• Use physical barriers to protect workers.

• Post signs to encourage physical distancing.

• Close customer waiting areas.

• Create “physical distance zones” where people line up to request services.

• Continue to use drop-off/pick-up services as much as possible.

• Implement appropriate strategies to address the needs of at-risk customers (older adults and those with underlying health conditions).

• Minimize/eliminate nonessential business travel.

• Use conference calls or Zoom for meetings.

• Develop an infectious disease preparedness and response plan.

In addition to the business guidelines, retail businesses should also:

• Consider scheduling shopping appointments to reduce walk-in traffic.

• Reduce crowding in retail environments by extending store hours, particularly in critical retail environments.

• Schedule short breaks to promote employee hand washing.

In addition to the business guidelines, appointment-based businesses should also:

• Schedule fewer appointments, more widely spaced (to allow for cleaning between services as needed and reduce number of clients crossing paths).

• Eliminate the use of waiting areas.

• Discourage customers from arriving early: “please, wait in your vehicle until your appointment time.”

• Allow only one person per appointment, family members must wait in the car (1 adult per child appointment).

• Require customers to wear masks.

In addition to the business guidelines, food service establishments should:

• Continue to encourage drive-thru or carry-out options.

• Separate tables to maintain physical distancing.

• Remove table condiments.

• Use paper menu’s or wipe board with menu and specials

• Encourage wait staff to wear masks.

Call the Atchison County Health Department if you need specific guidance for your business. Thanks for all you are doing to make modifications to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.