City to Re-Open for Business


The City has issued an amendment that allows most businesses to reopen following federal, state and City guidelines beginning Monday, May 4.

Businesses may now open provided they can practice required social distancing of at least six feet and abide by business specific requirements contained in the City’s 4th Amendment of the Declaration and Order.

Specific requirements are as follows:
All businesses:
• Do not allow congregation of employees or customers in common areas, waiting areas or break rooms.
• Perform temperature checks should 10 or more employees gather in common spaces.
• All employees should practice regular handwashing and disinfection of workspace surfaces.
• Routinely disinfect common areas and areas of high traffic.
• Employee business related travel should be limited based on CDC travel guidelines.
• Monitor employees for COVID-19 symptoms and require those identified to leave premises.
• Any workplace exposure to COVID-19 should be reported to the City Health Department.
• Physically space employees to maintain a six-foot distance.

Businesses that allow customers to enter:
• Sanitizing products are to be available at entry points with signage requesting use.
• Post signage and mark floors to designate proper social distancing and where lines should form.
• For businesses that engage in retail sales, must limit the number of individuals to the retail location as follows:
• 25% or less of the entity’s authorized fire or building code occupancy for a retail location with square footage of less than 5,000 square feet
• 10% or less of the entity’s authorized fire or building code occupancy for a facility of 5,000 square feet or more.
• If you do not know what your occupancy number is you can contact the City as follows: Call 271-4757 or email
• Prohibit customers from congregating or waiting inside or outside the business.
• Construct barriers to separate customers from employee workstations or require employees to wear face coverings to separate employees and customers to limit exposure..
• Restrict person-to-person contact.

Restaurants – Businesses that serve prepared foods and drinks:
• May continue drive-through, pickup or delivery service.
• Dine-in service is now allowed:
• Customer access to facility must be controlled to provide social distancing. Businesses are required to use advanced reservations or follow a process that allows for immediate seating of customers. In either case customers must be seated immediately upon entering the facility. Prohibit customers from congregating in waiting areas. Signage should be posted at entrance informing people seeking dine-in seating of process to gain access for service.
• Do not allow the gathering of customers inside or around entryways, exits or restroom areas.
• It will be necessary to register a customer contact at each table served to include name and phone number of the table contact and date and time served. This is for possible follow-up for virus tracing if necessary and must be provided to the City’s Health Department if requested.
• Space patrons at tables that are at least six feet away from other seated patrons. Require patrons seated at counters and bars to be spaced six feet apart. (Occupancy requirements related to retail businesses do not apply to restaurants and bars.)
• Reusable condiment containers such as salt shakers or ketchup bottles and reusable menus may not be used unless they are sanitized between uses.

Bars and Taverns:
• Bars and taverns are prohibited from offering on-site service. They may serve customers by drive-thru, curbside pick-up or delivery. They must maintain distance of six feet from customers. Customers must not enter business and should wait outside.

Theaters, private clubs, bowling alleys and other recreational venues:
• Sanitize surfaces between uses by customers. This includes all activities provided and equipment utilized by guests.
• Social distancing shall be maintained during activities and use of equipment.

Fitness centers/gyms:
• Cardiovascular equipment, weight machines and other activity equipment should be arranged to prevent use within six feet of other equipment.
• Equipment and personal storage areas are to be sanitized between uses.
• Fitness classes should practice social distancing of six feet or greater.

Salons, tattoo parlors and other businesses that provide services requiring person-to-person contact:
• May provide services provided they require advanced customer appointments.
• Employees and customers must wear face coverings.
• A registry must be kept for each customer with name and phone number. this information must be provided to the City Health Department on request for virus tracing if necessary.
• Customers should be prohibited from congregating or waiting in areas to be served.
• Employees should be spaced providing at least six feet of separation.
• Equipment should be sanitized between uses on separate customers.

The Amended Declaration and Order will be continually evaluated through May 31, 2020, and can be revised or amended at any time.

The Chamber suggests that all businesses develop a plan for their facility based on these guidelines and provide to employees. Also, you should consider communicating to customers what you are doing to make your facility safe for employees and customers.

To see the official Fourth Amended Declaration and Order from the City of St. Joseph, see this link.