Open for business

The Dent County Health Center has issued a list of Show-Me Strong Recovery Plan guidelines based on information from the governor’s office. The guidelines spell out what to expect in Phase 1 of the local COVID-19 reopening plan, which begins Monday, May 4.

“This information makes it all easier to understanding than the actual order,” said Dent County Health Center director Kendra Mobray. “Over the next few days we’ll also be issuing more specific guidelines for churches, restaurants and other businesses to make them easier to understand.”


Yes. As long as the social distancing requirements are followed, places of worship are allowed to hold in-person services.

Common practices that may occur with worship services, such as hand shaking and share communion cups, should be avoided.

Places of worship are also encouraged to continue use of alternate means of services through streaming services and other opportunities.

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Service industry businesses: beauty salons, barber shops, nail salons, tattoo parlors, tanning salons, etc. while following enhanced precautions to protect workers and patrons.

Gyms may remain open and adhere to strict social distancing and sanitation protocols

Large venue and stadium events and theatres may occur but seating shall be spaced out according to social distancing requirements. This applies to amusement parks and attractions, concerts, funerals, museums, school graduations and weddings.

Fraternal organization meetings: organizations such as Knights of Columbus, Fraternal Order of the Eagles, etc., may gather but must adhere to the social distancing and communal seating areas requirements.

Local Parks, Recreation Organized Activities and/or Camps: This includes traditional summer activities such as utilizing aquatic facilities, community centers, fitness centers, libraries, organized athletics, and camps. If offered, adjustments such as limiting the number of participants, modifying activities, restructuring programs, and increasing sanitation measures for facilities and participants are highly recommended.

(It is advised that areas of high touch or high traffic, such as playgrounds, remain closed.)

Industry specific guidance will be disseminated.


Workplaces that engage in retail sales (to include grocery stores) to the public must limit the number of customers in each retail location to the following standards:

• Locations less than 10,000 square feet must maintain 25% or less of the authorized occupancy

• Locations 10,000 square feet or greater must maintain 10% or less of the authorized occupancy.

If there is no building or fire code in your jurisdiction setting occupancy, use the following formula to calculate your allowed occupancy:

• Building Sq. Ft divided by 30 = Quotient

• Quotient x .25 = Occupancy limits for smaller stores, or;

• Quotient x .10 = Occupancy limit for larger stores.

Restaurants: Dining rooms may reopen but with measures in place that prioritize public health and safety to include:

• Regulating self-serve options such as salad bars and buffets. Use disposable menus if possible.

• Employee use of personal protective equipment, if available.

• Tables and seating shall be spaced out according to social distance requirements. The continued use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is encouraged.

• Food court establishments may operate, but the social distancing and communal seating requirements will prevent them from offering seating.


• Citizens who feel sick should stay home.

• Continue to practice good hygiene.

• Avoid socializing in groups that do not allow for appropriate physical distancing (receptions, tradeshows, etc.)

• When in public, maximize physical distancing from others.

• Minimize travel to the extent possible.

SOCIAL DISTANCING: Missourians shall abide by the 6-foot distancing rule from other individuals. This does not apply to family members or individuals performing job duties that require contact with other people to perform their work duties. Enhanced precautions should be taken when work duties require contact with people less than six feet apart.

VULNERABLE POPULATIONS: People shall not visit nursing homes, longterm care facilities, retirement homes, or assisted living homes unless to provide critical assistance or in end-of-life circumstances. Elderly or otherwise vulnerable populations should take enhanced precautions to reduce the risk of exposure and contracting COVID-19.

ENFORCEMENT & EFFECTIVE DATES: The state is working with local health authorities to support the order. Local health authorities and law enforcement maintain the same jurisdiction and authority they have always had. This order is in effect beginning 12:01 a.m. Monday, May 4 until 11:59 p.m. Sunday, May 31.

Mobray encourages elderly and immunocompromised people to continue to stay home as much as possible at least for a few more weeks.

“Everybody in Dent County has done a great job to this point,” she said. “That’s why we’ve stayed at zero (cases) and will hopefully continue to do so.”

For more information call the health center at (573) 729-3106 or email