County continues to adapt steps in COVID-19 recovery Phase 2

CLAY COUNTY — The public health center is continuing to relax restrictions on certain types of gatherings in Clay County. Starting Sunday, July 5, Clay County Public Health Center mandated the county will remain in Phase 2 of Step 2 of the COVID-19 pandemic recovery plan, but with amendments allowing many businesses and organizations to return to full building occupancy provided they require face coverings.

The new allowances state:

• A business or organization that is not a bar or tavern may return to the entity’s authorized building or fire code occupancy for the indoor, public accommodation provided all employees or visitors maintain physical distancing standards of at least 6 feet apart and are required to wear face coverings in an area, or while performing any activity, that involves close contact to co-workers or the public. These spaces include, but are not limited to, grocery and other retail stores, special events and public transit.

• Churches and indoor wedding or funeral services must maintain 50% occupancy if face coverings are not required or can have full occupancy if face coverings are required and physical distancing standards are met.

• Youth sports for children 5 and younger may resume as can full-contact sports practices in stable groups of 25 or less.

The news of the addition to requiring masks in county businesses for full occupancy comes after a press conference earlier this week where Gov.Mike Parson said he will not require people statewide to wear masks in public.

What has not changed in county restrictions are allowances for mass, outdoor events, capacity limits on bars and public pools and long-term care facilities.

“Mass gatherings, including outdoor weddings and funerals, are still limited to 250 people,” states a CCPHC release from Wednesday, July 1. “… Long-term care facilities must continue to restrict visitors.”

This order remains in place until Monday, July 20.

The last time the county recovery plan was amended was June 15 when updates included all business and organizations’ occupancy restrictions relaxed to 50% of the authorized building/fire code occupancy.

Under the new rules, bars and public pools must remain at 50% occupancy. For more information on restrictions to a specific type of business or organization or other county COVID-19 recovery information, visit

Managing Editor Amanda Lubinski can be reached at or 903-6001.

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