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Just days after announcing a community ban on gatherings of more than 50 people for at least eight weeks, the City of St. Joseph has now approved a ban on gatherings of 10 people or more for the next 15 days beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Thursday, March 19.

利众棋牌“What we’re trying to do is be very aggressive in social distancing so we can hold back the spread of this virus,” Mayor Bill McMurray said.

The decision was made in a work session on Tuesday after a teleconference call with Gov. Mike Parson revealed that there are now 15 cases of COVID-19 in the state.

利众棋牌Some local restaurants will be able to provide carry-out service while being prohibited from offering in-store dining, but other others will have to completely close in order to comply with these regulations.

“Any gathering of 10 or more people at any restaurant, tavern, professional, social, cultural, religious, athletic, entertainment or other special-event facility where people are not separated by a physical space of at least six feet, that’s what we’re trying to stop,” McMurray said.

利众棋牌Grocery stores and some large shops that can provide space between customers will be exempt. Gas stations and convenience stores will not be allowed to have more than 10 people inside at any time, including staff, vendors and customers.

利众棋牌Entertainment and recreational facilities, including theaters, private clubs, fitness centers and bowling alleys will not be able to allow the public or members of the facilities to enter.

利众棋牌Bars effectively will be shut down for the period, which may be extended as needed to combat the spread of COVID-19.

Brandon Manville, who owns Last Call Bar, said he fears he may lose his business if the order is extended.

“Basically, it shuts us down,” Manville said. “So, we’re going to have zero revenue for a minimum period of at least two weeks and, if we’re being completely honest with this, I don’t see it lasting just two weeks.”

Manville said he has five employees who he feels responsible to provide work for who will not have jobs for the time being.

McMurray said that the decision is not meant to harm businesses but is needed to keep St. Joseph free of infection.

利众棋牌The order originally was written to go into effect immediately, but at the work session, several council members argued that business should be given a short amount of time to prepare.

Councilman Kent O’Dell argued that, with the big stores still allowed to operate, this only serves to hurt smaller businesses. He was reluctant to show any approval for the restrictions.

利众棋牌Councilman Brian Myers, who already has electively shut down his bar, event center and, partially, the retail shop that he and his family own, said he is experiencing the pain but believes it is necessary in order to fight the spread of the illness.

“This sucks, but protecting the community is more important than the money I make,” Myers said. “We have to do this.”

利众棋牌The city government also will be cancelling events and will host council meetings without a live audience in order comply with its own rule. Meetings will be streamed and televised, and call-in numbers will be on screens so that questions and comments can be made.

Civic facilities such as the Bode Ice Arena and the REC Center will have to be closed under these new rules. All St. Joseph public libraries, and the St. Jo Frontier Casino also will close for a period of time.

Transit buses will continue to run for now, and City Manager Bruce Woody said extensive cleaning is done hourly and daily to help keep buses safe.

The order also gives emergency powers to Director of the St. Joseph Health Department Debra Bradley and Woody for the next eight weeks that could allow curfews, evacuations or a complete shutdown of any gatherings if the situation is deemed serious enough. This also allows orders to close all businesses and to waive administrative and budgetary requirements that may impede the effective delivery of essential public services.

The 15-day restrictions can be extended by the council if the health department recommends doing so.

The council is looking at creating a price-gouging ordinance to punish those who are buying needed supplies in bulk and selling them for wild profits.

利众棋牌Gov. Parson, in his conference call, stated that there is no food shortage and people should not be hoarding food or stampeding stores.

He said the decision to close schools or businesses will continue to be up to local governments at this time.

Brendan Welch can be reached

at brendan..

Follow him on Twitter: @SJNPWelch.