Boonslick Economic Developer all for reopening, but in a responsible manner

Chris Bowie

The first phase of the Show-Me Strong Recovery Plan from Gov. Mike Parson was set to expire May 31. He recently extended the phase 1 reopening plan to June 15.

COVID-19 cases in the state and region have increased since the reopening plan started May 4, but the extension was not related to the increase or that Missouri “has taken steps back” in its handling of the coronavirus pandemic, Parson said in a news release.

“We are very pleased with how well Phase 1 has gone so far. Businesses, communities, and Missourians across the state have been implementing health and safety measures, and we are encouraged by data across the state,” Parson said. “Extending Phase 1 through June 15 aligns with our other executive orders, as well as the state of emergency in Missouri.

During this phase, Missourians are instructed to adhere to social distancing (6 feet apart) while engaging in activities.

The Boonslick Community Development Corp. is all for reopening, but in a responsible manner that also follows measures recommended by the governor, Economic Development Director Gigi McAreavy said.

“I am okay with the governor’s reasons for the extended time to June 15, expressing wanting to make sure other areas of the state — mostly the major cities it appears — to have adequate time to control the spread and be in line with the rest of the state,” McAreavy said.

The extension also will allow the state to stock up on health supplies and other depleted essential equipment, she said.

“I do not see all the numbers or have access to the information that the Governor does, but trust that he will be responsible in his policy making for the safety of the citizens of this state,” McAreavy said.

Isle of Capri Casino in Boonville opened its doors on Monday, with many safety measures in place.

“I’m happy that they have the opportunity to get back to work and am glad that area business owners can open their doors as long as those that enter honor the owner’s, local and/or state guidelines,” McAreavy said. “As you have seen on so many signs, “We are all in this together.”

Area businesses also have reopened doors in Boonville. With more than 400 businesses in Boonville alone, the county has remained at eight total cases as of April 30.

Cooper County Public Health Nurse/Administrator Melanie Hutton stated last week that although the county has seen no new cases, that doesn’t mean that there won’t be more cases in the future.

Missouri had 13,55 confirmed cases in the state with 783 deaths as of Wednesday afteroon. In surrounding counties, Saline had 269 confirmed cases, Boone 154, Moniteau 48 and Howard 3.

In Phase 1, events like weddings, county fairs, summer camps still are allowed. The current order includes restrictions on how many customers can enter a business based on building size, however, and requires social distancing unless performing a job that requires closer contact with individuals.

Phase 2 will allow the maximum number of people gathering in one area to shift from 10 people to 50 people. Businesses like restaurants, bars, places of worship, gyms, salons, and community centers may increase business to the 50-person capacity as long as safe social distancing can be maintained.