Joplin limits restaurants to 50% of occupancy or 50 guests.

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JOPLIN, Mo. — Wednesday a state of emergency was declared and a measure was passed unanimously to limit restaurants to 50 guests or 50% of occupancy. Whichever of the two is less is what will be enforced for the next 30 days.

Joplin Mayor Gary Shaw insists that the virus needs to be taken seriously and believes this is a public health emergency.

Gary Shaw, Mayor of Joplin, said, “We live in a country that’s free. We don’t have the ability as a city to quarantine like they did in China or different places because that’s the lifestyle that they were used to. We’re not used to that where the people are free. But at the same time, as leaders in the community, it’s important that we do everything we can to keep those free people safe.”

City leaders say they will revisit this resolution after the 30-day time period to see if it needs to be expanded.

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