Friday, May 8, 2020

Some Businesses to Reopen as "Safer at Home" is Extended

Mississippi’s “Safer at Home” order has been extended until May 25. The order was set to expire on
Monday, May 11th. Governor Tate Reeves extended the order today (Friday) but relaxed restrictions on businesses previously ordered closed. This includes hair salons, barber shops, health clubs and gyms which will be allowed open on May 11.

Expressing concern for the state and local economies and referencing the recent high unemployment claims, Reeves said his decision was based upon the threat of another Great Depression. “The human cost of another Great Depression is higher than the benefit of broad orders. As we work to re-open our economy, that is not a signal that the threat of the virus is gone. It is a shift in strategy because months of making it illegal for small businesses to operate is not sustainable. To the people of Mississippi: I am asking you—begging you—to exercise your personal responsibility.”

Before businesses can reopen, the following must be done:

· the salon or barbershop must be deep-cleaned, disinfected, and sanitized.. They must also be deep-cleaned on a daily basis.

· All salons and barbershops are expected to take every step necessary to implement the regulations, orders, and guidance from the Mississippi State Department of Health and CDC to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

· Hand sanitizer must be placed at all entrances.

· Minimizing person-to-person contact using technology, such as mobile or online reservations and contact-less payment, is encouraged.

· Signs must be posted at each entrance stating no customer with a fever or COVID-19 symptoms are allowed in.

· Seating be rearranged to ensure at least 6 feet between each customer and be sanitized after each use by a customer.

· Only one customer per employee is allowed in the salon or barbershop at any given time.

· All employees will be screened daily at the beginning of their shifts, including asking whether they have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 in the past 14 days and have they had a fever in the last 48 hours.

· Face coverings (masks) must be provided to all employees who come in direct contact with customers. Employees are required to wear that face covering throughout their shift and clean or replace them daily.

· Employees must wear disposable gloves and change them between customers, as well as wash their hands between every customer.

· All employees must be provided training on how to limit the spread of COVID-19.

· All waiting areas are to be closed. Customers must wait in their vehicles until their appointment time and they are called for screening before entering.

· Customers must sanitize their hands when entering and exiting.

· Customers must be screened when entering, including asking whether they have experienced any symptoms of COVID-19.

· Customers must wear a face covering,(mask) while inside at all times, unless they're receiving a service that would be impeded by the covering.

· Each customer must be provided with a clean cape, to be laundered after each use. A protective neck strip should also be placed around the neck of each customer getting a haircut.

· Gyms must close to the public by 10:00 PM each day.

· For gyms, there must be at least one employee available onsite during hours of operation dedicated to wiping down equipment after each use.

· For gyms, all high-touch areas must be sanitized at least once every two hours.

· Exercise machines and equipment must be rearranged and/or deactivated to make sure there is at least 6 feet between customers.

· Gyms must post signage at each entrance stating no customer with a fever or COVID-19 symptoms are allowed in.

· Hand sanitizer must be placed at all entrances and throughout the gym floor.

· All common areas must remain closed.

· Gyms must operate at no more than 30% capacity

· Gym classes or group activities must ensure a 6-foot separation.
In explaining his decision, Reeves said, “I know that these actions that I have taken to reopen certain industries will receive harsh criticism. I’m not worried about that,” he said. “I cannot ask Mississippians to burn down their life’s work and put their family at risk of starvation because I’m afraid of some national media or because I’m afraid of my reputation.”

Reeves also announced an agreement with Lieutenant Governor Delbert Hoseman and House Speaker Phillip Gunn on terms for spending federal relief funds provided to the state.