Executive order limits store capacity in Jasper

By NICOLE SMITH
Posted 4/2/20

An executive order was issued in Jasper Thursday morning that will limit the capacity of stores by half and require other social distancing measures.

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Executive order limits store capacity in Jasper

Posted

An executive order was issued in Jasper Thursday morning that will limit the capacity of stores by half and require other social distancing measures.

The order, signed by Jasper Mayor David O’Mary,  will go into effect at 7 a.m. on Friday, April 3, and issues guidelines for retail and grocery stores.  

To encourage social distancing during the COVID-19 outbreak, businesses will be required to have no more than 50 percent of the store’s stated fire capacity in buildings at one time. For example, if a store’s capacity was originally set at 1,000, now only 500 people can occupy the facility at a given time.

The capacity guidelines do not apply to store employees. 

“Each store or facility shall provide for staff or some other reliable method to count the number of customers entering and exiting the store and to enforce this as the emergency maximum occupancy,” the order states.

It has also been ordered that retail and grocery stores have 6 foot spacing between customers at checkout lines. The spacing should be clearly marked. Other high-traffic store areas are also required to be marked with 6 foot spacing.

Store’s are required to post a notice at all entrances that states the store’s emergency maximum occupancy.

The order urges retailers to consider 6 foot marking outdoors as well if lines develop outside.

Other guidelines in the order are as follows:

- Designate employees to monitor social distancing and assist customers.

- Maximize space between customers and employees at checkout. 

- Designate employees to ensure the cleaning guidelines set by the CDC are followed.

- Discontinue self-service foods (not to include vending machines) and product sampling.

Stores have also been encouraged in the order to accomdate vulnerable populations by offering special shopping hours for high-risk populations and to possibly offer pickup and delivery options for customers.

The order will begin Friday and remain in effect until further notice. 

O’Mary told the Daily Mountain Eagle on Wednesday that he believed an executive order would be necessary, due to the large number of people continuing to fill stores in the city.

“Our top priority in municipal government at the moment is to protect the people of this community,” O’Mary said on Thursday.