Following Joplin Health Director Ryan Talken’s May 3, 2021 report noting new coronavirus cases remain low, and a strong supply of vaccine exists, the Joplin City Council removes the restrictions listed in the Exhibits of the Joplin Response and Recovery Plan. Exhibits outlined requirements for specific business sectors including gyms, pools, places of worship, restaurants, theatres, outdoor sporting events and businesses that offer personal services such as hair salons and massage therapy.
The Council voted unanimously to relax all restrictions in the exhibits and stated that businesses may still establish guidelines they find appropriate for their establishment. The Centers for Disease Control and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services continue to recommend good hygiene procedures, social distancing and wearing masks or face coverings in large group gatherings.
“The Council voted to lift requirements on any businesses or individuals,” said Joplin Mayor Ryan Stanley. “We do support businesses to make their own decisions on how they manage their guidelines with Covid precautions. The City has worked through the response and recovery plan, and our community has shown that they know how to be good stewards of their own choice. We do appreciate everyone’s efforts throughout this past year.”
This vote enacted the full implementation of Phase 3 of the Response and Recovery Plan that lifts all restrictions. During the April 19, 2021 Council meeting, the board voted to move to Phase 3 of the Recovery Plan which removed any occupancy limitations for indoor or outdoor activities, however the restrictions in the business specific exhibits remained in place.
During the May 3 meeting, the Council also discussed moving the City to Phase 4 in the plan, which does not hold any restrictions, but keeps the plan in place and rebuilds the City’s readiness for the next pandemic. City staff will further develop Phase 4 and bring this information to City Council in an upcoming meeting.