Barry County again extends Phase II mitigation rules

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Officials cite high positive test rate, transmission rate for decision

Barry County officials have announced the extension of Phase II mitigation rules to Sept. 30, due to continued increases in the number of cases in Barry County and southwest Missouri.

Roger Brock, administrator of the Barry County Health Department, said 4.8% of Barry County tests are positive, and southwest Missouri has the second highest transmission rate (Re=1.041) in Missouri, and that number is continuing rise.

“Our goal is to curb any additional transmission sources as fall activities increase,” Brock said. “We are not changing any current rules — we are simply extending those rules for one month.”

He noted that continued compliance is necessary to ensure residents manage additional increases in the infection and transmission rates.

Emergency Management Director David Compton encourages every individual to wear reusable and launderable cloth masks when in public places, practice physical distancing of at least six feet, and practice frequent hand washing.

“We need to remember it is everyone’s responsibility to help reduce the spread of COVID in our communities, not only our service providers,” Compton said.

Barry County Phase 2 Mitigation rules began July 16 and include required source control masking of service providers, recommended physical distancing, cloth face coverings and enhanced hygiene practices.

For more information about COVID-19, people may visit cdc.gov/coronavirus, call the Barry County Health Department at 417-847-2114 or the Missouri DHSS 24 hour hotline number at 877-435-8411.

Requirements

Source Control Masking — Service providers/servers wearing a cloth or surgical style mask is required when providing personal services where physical distancing is not practicable. These services include, but are not limited to:

• All types of food and/or beverage service.

• Tanning salons and services, nail services, spa type services, therapeutic massage (unless under the care of a physician.)

• Hair cutting, styling, washing, or coloring services.

• Other types of non-physician dermatological services.

• Body decoration/modification services, including tattooing, piercing, branding, scarification, shaping, implants, scalpelling, and painting.

Recommendations

Strongly suggested practices to lessen the chance of contracting COVID-19 include:

• Enhanced Hygiene Practices — Owners and organizers are responsible to ensure surfaces that are frequently touched must be wiped with an appropriate antimicrobial solution that is allowed to air dry between individual users. An easy way to do this is using a bleach solution (1/3 cup of bleach in 1 gallon of water) in a spray bottle, sprayed on the surface and not wiped.

• Physical Distancing — Separation of persons or groups by a minimum of 6 feet is recommended at all times.

• All buildings open to the public — All businesses, government offices, organizations, agencies, and places of worship may return to maximum occupancy, as allowed by regulation or ordinance.

• Persons at High Risk — Cloth face coverings are recommended at all times when in public or physical distancing (greater than 6 feet) cannot be maintained. Persons who are greater 65 years of age, who are immunocompromised or have chronic medical conditions are at a higher risk of contracting COVID-19 and should follow the CDC guidance on face coverings. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/groups-at-highe... risk.html

Advice to Businesses

“Contract tracing shows that workplaces, even small businesses with few employees/visitors, are a significant source of community spread of COVID-19,” the press release said. “We are strongly urging you to enact the following at your Barry County business.”

Advice includes:

• Require staff members to wear masks at least while not 6 feet apart and any time a customer or visitor comes to the business.

• Require customers to wear masks upon entry to a facility, especially while traveling through shared spaces to an individual’s office or meeting space.

• Sanitize high-touch surfaces between each and every customer/visitor.

“We understand that mask requirements are a difficult subject to approach and often met with resistance, but it is vital that every business takes personal responsibility to protect community health,” the press release said. “Consider using the following to help staff and customers/visitors to understand the importance of preventative masking:

“Make sure staff knows that you care about their health and the health of their family members and that is first and foremost why masking is important. ‘I know masks are an inconvenience, but you are essential to our team and we want to protect you.’

“Explain to customers your responsibility to your employees and the community. ‘We are just trying to do what we can to protect our staff and our customers.’ You might consider also adding, ‘We, as a small business, have a small staff, and we have to protect them so we’re here to serve our customers.’

“Emphasize responsibility. ‘If we voluntarily institute these measures, we can keep the community safe and also keep from having business shut back down again. We want to do everything we can to protect the most vulnerable of us in our community and support the economy.’”

The release said the Barry County Health Department may be forced to enact stricter requirements if COVID cases continue to rise.

“If we work together to protect each other through voluntarily cleaning surfaces and wearing masks, we can avoid that,” it said. “Put on a mask. Have your employees and customers put on masks. We are all in this together.”

Pursuant to Section 192.300 RSMo and CSR 20-20.050(3), the Board of Trustees of the Barry County Health Department are authorized and have promulgated these orders intended to enhance the public health and prevent the infectious, contagious, communicable, or dangerous diseases, such as the COVID-19 virus, in the county.

The Barry County Health Department is authorized to promulgate such mandatory or advisory rules, policies, and guidance as is necessary and appropriate to implement the Order. Mandatory rules and policies so promulgated shall have the force of law to the greatest extent possible.

These rules are a phased community mitigation process that allow businesses to return to full operations while managing the likelihood COVID-19 spread in the community. If these rules are not complied with or prove ineffective, the department reserves the right to institute additional and more stringent mandatory rules.

The Barry County Health Department, pursuant Section 192.300 RSMo and CSR 20-20.050(3), may order businesses not compliant with these orders to remain closed for a time, as determined by the department, sufficient to ensure all appropriate control measures are instituted.

Additionally, the Barry County Health Department, upon notice of non-compliance with these orders may initiate legal action to seek a court judgment to ensure compliance.

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