Crawford County eases covid-19 restrictions

Joplin Area Coronavirus

CRAWFORD COUNTY, Mo. — A change is in the works in Crawford County when it comes to covid-19 restrictions.

Heather Horton, Toast Co-Owner, said, “We will be cautiously optimistic and we look forward to hopefully having some more seats for people.”

One of the biggest industries impacted by covid-19 have been restaurants. When the pandemic first started, many worked hard to make sure they could keep the community safe.

“You had things coming at you from all different directions, obviously high stress, a lot of unknowns. We were one of the first who chose to close down, keep everyone safe in the beginning.”

Health orders were placed by the county to help. Now with case numbers dropping and vaccines being distributed, the Crawford County Health Department sees this as the right time to rescind one of those orders.

Dr. Timothy Stebbins, Crawford County Health Officer, said, “The restrictions are only penalties at this point and so we’ve asked commissioners to rescind those orders and they did.”

Health order number three was unanimously taken back Friday, allowing restaurants to operate with 100% capacity, while keeping other safety precautions in place.

“If you have mitigation measures in place like plexiglass, don’t take those down. Especially our servers, prepares, the front staff, protect your industry first by having them wear masks and then protect your clientele by having them wear masks.”

This way business and events can return to the area, hopefully helping out the local economy.

“Any event that’s coming into town that brings people is good for us, even our smaller events like Artwalk, I know they’re going to have the Farm Show and those types of things they will hopefully all of that will trickle out and people will want to come out and eat and hopefully we can still do that in a safe way,” said Horton.

The mask mandate remains in effect in Crawford County – but officials say it will be re-evaluated once the state enters phase-4 of vaccine distribution.

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