Area readies to slowly reopen Monday
As the stay-at-home orders lift on Monday, the state has issued several guidelines for businesses and restaurants while local cities also have additional policies in place that take effect on Monday.
However, while the stay-at-home orders are lifted, the Scott County Health Department is urging residents to continue to use caution.
“We just want to make sure everyone continues to use social distancing and wearing protection like gloves and masks,” said Brenda Freed of the Scott County Health Department. “We want people to stay at home as much as possible. Just because we are opening up doesn’t mean there isn’t anything to worry about.”
Freed said that COVID-19 is still out there and people need to be aware of that. As of Friday afternoon, there were 75 cases in Scott County with 40 of those still active.
As the state begins phase one of reopening, there are still plenty of guidelines to note.
State of Missouri guidelines
•Gatherings are not limited to a certain number of people, but individuals should at all times practice social distancing by maintaining at least six feet of separation from other people, except for: members of the same household or individuals performing job duties that require closer contact than six feet. When job duties require closer contact, enhanced precautionary measures should be taken.
• People shall not visit nursing homes, long-term care facilities, retirement homes, or assisted living homes unless to provide critical assistance or in end-of-life circumstances.
• Businesses engaged in retail sales shall limit the number of individuals in their locations to 25% of the legal occupancy limit for locations with less than 10,000 square feet, and 10% of the legal occupancy limit for locations with 10,000 or more square feet.
• Restaurants may offer dine-in services as long as parties are seated at least six feet apart, parties are not seated at connecting tables, and parties are no larger than ten people.
• Gyms and hotel swimming pools may open as long as they maintain social distancing.
• Places of worship may hold in-person services as long as social distancing is maintained and practices such as shared communal cups are avoided.
• Traditional summer activities such as utilizing aquatic facilities, community centers, fitness centers, libraries, organized athletics and camps may go on but adjustments to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19 are encouraged.
• Events in larger venues such as sports stadiums, concerts, funerals, weddings, or movie theaters may go on but seating shall be spaced so as to comply with social distancing.
• These regulations will be in effect May 4 through May 31.
City of Sikeston
• City Hall will remain closed to the public through May 31 while interior renovations addressing both security and social distancing concerns are completed.
• The Sikeston City Council meeting, scheduled for Monday, will be held at the Clinton Building instead of City Hall. The meeting will begin at 5 p.m.
• Fire stations will remain closed to the public through May 31.
• DPS Headquarters will remain open to the public for law enforcement related activities, but public tours, educational visits, and other non-essential visits will be suspended.
• Municipal Court operations are suspended until at least May 21.
• The airport terminal will remain open to pilots and air passengers.
• The P.A.W.S. Animal Shelter will be open to the public but by appointment only, and the following restrictions will apply: Only visitors interested in viewing animals for possible adoption will be allowed, volunteers will not be allowed at this time, visitors will have their temperature taken at the door and will not be admitted if they appear to have a fever or other signs of illness, visitors must bring and wear their own protective face mask, and visitors will be provided gloves by the shelter.
• The Spring Clean Up at the Sikeston Compost Site is being postponed until June. Dates will be announced later. The Spring Curbside Cleanup has been canceled. The compost site will continue to maintain its regular schedule for drop off of limbs and brush per the city website.
Sikeston Park Facilities
• The Clinton Building is closed through May 31 and no reservations are being accepted at this time.
• No reservations of picnic shelters are being accepted at this time.
• Playgrounds remain closed at the recommendation of the State of Missouri, as “high touch” areas.
• Basketball courts remain closed due to the difficulty of practicing social distancing.
• Tennis courts will be open beginning Monday. Social distancing by users is encouraged.
• The dog park will be open beginning Monday. Social distancing by users is encouraged.
• The skate park will be open beginning Monday. Social distancing by users is encouraged.
• As allowed by the Governor’s order, fields for baseball/softball will be open for practices beginning Monday and games beginning Memorial Day weekend. Spectators are encouraged to remain in the cars during practices. Coaches and players are encouraged to practice social distancing. Bleachers will be removed from the baseball/softball quads and during games spectators are encouraged to bring their own chairs and practice social distancing.
YMCA of Southeast Missouri
The YMCA of Southeast Missouri is tentatively planning a reopening date of May 18. More information of restrictions and plans will be shared as the date is finalized.
Three Rivers College
As Missouri lifts its stay-at-home order, Three Rivers College will reopen its facilities to faculty and staff members on May 4, TRC President Dr. Wesley Payne has announced.
The College is planning a phased approach to reopening and will be closed to the public until June 1.
“Beginning June 1 we will we be fully open unless health officials recommend otherwise,” Payne said.
While College facilities have been closed since April 6 to all but personnel completing essential tasks that can’t be performed remotely, TRC has continued to serve its students. All TRC classes moved to online in March. Faculty and staff have been working remotely since April 6 to continue to provide services such as tutoring, library services, advising, and financial aid assistance.
“Everyone has pitched in to provide resources and reassurance to our students and to help them continue on their education journeys,” Payne said.
Staff will return to normal hours at the Three Rivers Campus in Poplar Bluff and at its location buildings in Sikeston, Dexter, and Kennett on Monday with guidelines in place for social distancing, personal safety and enhanced sanitation protocols. TRC faculty will return as needed.
As part of Phase 2, May 18-June 1, certain classes with hands-on elements will start bringing back students to complete those classes. Those students will be contacted by their instructors.
“We will continue virtual registration through the end of May and plan to allow in-person registration starting June 1, when College operations return to normal as part of Phase 3,” Payne said. “Summer classes will all be online. The plan for Fall is to hold classes as normal.”
In Portageville, the parks are open, however, social distancing of six feet is still required. There is a maximum of 10 people allowed per park pavilion. The park restrooms and basketball court will remain closed.
The V.T. and Rita Rogers Building (red building in Meatte Park) and the Portageville Community Center are both closed for event rentals through May 31.
The Portageville Summer Ball Program has been postponed until June 1.
Beginning Monday, Oran City Hall will be open for drive-thru business. The City Hall lobby will remain closed for public access until further notice.