Stay at Home Order in Missouri
It’s pretty obvious that we are all living in uncertain times right now. We have seen things happening around the world that we never thought we would experience; however, daily life goes on, even though we are dealing with a pandemic. We have heard new terms, such as stay at home orders, social distancing, essential activities, and self quarantine. Even in a pandemic, you may find yourself in need of a lawyer. Since we would like to be your first choice for legal representation in all cases, it makes sense that we discuss the current “Stay at Home” Order issued by the state of Missouri, as well as how it has impacted us locally.
What is the Stay at Home order?
The governor, Green County, and the City of Springfield have issued a Stay at Home order that currently extends until April 24th. This order affects us all. It directs everyone to avoid leaving their residences as much as possible and only partake in activities that are considered to be essential while maintaining social distancing.
What are considered essential activities?
- Going to the grocery, convenience, or hardware store
- Going to a pharmacy
- Going to the doctor
- Going to a restaurant for take out or delivery (no dining in)
- Going to a church or other place of worship provided that that location is following social distancing rules
- Going outside to exercise while practicing social distancing
What is social distancing?
Social distancing means being in an enclosed space with not more than 10 people and not being within 6 feet of another person. The only people you should be within six feet of are people that you live with (i.e. family, roommates, etc.). Many businesses that deliver food and other products are now offering contactless delivery in an effort to maintain social distancing.
What businesses are considered essential?
- Law enforcement
- Government Offices
- Mental health facilities
- Grocery stores
- Utility companies
- Manufacturing facilities
- Transportation companies
- Communications companies
Any store that remains open must follow strict occupancy and social distancing guidelines, with larger buildings (over 10,000 square feet) limiting to 10% of their fire code occupancy and smaller buildings limiting to 25% of their fire code occupancy.
How are all of these regulations going to be enforced?
As of today, the State of Missouri has not outlined any specific penalties for those who violate the order. Greene County, however, states that those who do not follow the specifications outlined face fines up to $1,000 and jail time up to 180 days. The city of Springfield will allow the Fire Marshal, Health Department, and Police Department to enforce the order. Suppose businesses fail to restrict occupancy or fail to limit their non-essential activities that generally occur at the business location. In that case, the business can be punished with fines and penalties up to, and including, the business being closed.
Are there other things that we cannot do under this order?
At this time, visiting assisted living facilities is prohibited as this is the population that is very highly at risk.
If you have any questions at all about your rights, either as a citizen of Missouri or as a business owner, Twibell Pierson Criminal Law is here to help you during these trying times. We are all in uncharted waters as far as the pandemic is concerned, but as a law firm, we have defended and won many cases regarding city and state ordinances. We will be here for the community in any way we can help. We’re all in this together. Stay safe and be kind, everyone!