Gary Shaw

(FILE PHOTO) Joplin Mayor Gary Shaw talks in March about the city's response to COVID-19 during a press conference on Monday at Joplin City Hall. 

A plan to reopen Joplin business and activities is almost ready, Mayor Gary Shaw said Monday at a city briefing.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson will release details of his reopening plan for the state later today, according to the mayor.

"We're excited about that. We want to be able to see what he has mind, and then we might be able to make our plan align with his," Shaw said.

Later this week, the City Council will hold a special meeting to go over the details of Joplin's proposed reopening plan, he said. With the state stay-at-home order expiring Sunday night, Joplin city officials want to time the city's plans to begin on Monday in conjunction with the state plan.

The governor said last week that the state plan will provide guidelines for the opening of small and large businesses and retail manufacturing. It also will address such things as attending religious services, weddings and youth sports events. Personal care services such as salons and gyms can resume business on May 4, the governor said. Some communities will be able to open before those where the spread of the virus is more severe.

Joplin city officials said last week that the city's plan will allow businesses and activities to resume in phases.

The city has not had a new confirmed case of the virus in recent days, the mayor said Monday. The last announcement of a positive case in Joplin occurred on April 15.

Dan Pekarek, director of the Joplin Health Department, which oversees virus cases in the city, said last week that those with confirmed cases being handled by the health department have recovered and have been released from isolation. He said on Monday that, like last week, one person continues to be in quarantine and is being monitored to see if the person develops the illness caused by the virus.

There have been seven confirmed cases in the city so far.

The mayor said he is aware of some plans being made by local businesses to reopen when it's time.

"Restaurants are talking about taking temperatures of people as they come in, and others are talking about putting up plexiglass" shields as a safety measure, he said.

He said Joplin's plan would continue to require residents to observe social distancing, such as staying at least 6 feet from others. Hygiene precautions such as the frequent washing of hands and keeping surfaces sanitized will continue to be encouraged in the reopening plan, the mayor said.

"You all have been doing a great job and I encourage you to keep on keeping on," Shaw said.

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