Why some Columbia businesses are choosing to delay reopening

2 weeks 6 days 29 minutes ago Wednesday, May 06 2020 May 6, 2020 Wednesday, May 06, 2020 4:11:00 PM CDT May 06, 2020 in News
By: Janelle Finch, KOMU 8 Reporter

COLUMBIA - As a part of Governor Mike Parson's 'Show Me Strong' Recovery Plan, local businesses were allowed to reopen on May 4.

According to Parson, phase one of his plan is to "gradually start to reopen economic and social activity." The governor emphasized on Twitter that even though businesses could reopen, the community must continue to practice social distancing in public spaces.

But some businesses are choosing to delay their reopenings. According to the Daniel Boone Regional Library website, the library is planning a gradual reopening. Executive director Margaret Conroy said the library will follow state and local guidelines to determine how the public can enter the building and utilize its resources safely.

"Our plan is to open our book drops and begin curbside pickup of holds by mid-May," Conroy said. "We hope to reopen our branch buildings and offer limited services in June. At that time, occupancy limits may still be in force."

First Chance for Children is an early childhood development resource that works to support children and families in Mid-Missouri. It announced on Facebook that it would be continuing its "modified services" until June 1. Executive Director Kasey Schaumburg said this decision was to assess community response to the lifted restrictions.

"It's all about listening to the experts," Schaumburg said. "We want to see if the curve actually declines or if there will be a potential spike. We want to play it safe." 

In the meantime, First Chance for Children plans to continue hosting no-contact diaper drive thrus and drop-offs and conducting home visits over Zoom. First Chance has also created "Stay at home, Play at home" activity kits to help parents keep their kids busy during the day. 

Schaumburg said it has been hard not getting to see kids running around every day, but her staff is making the best of the situation by staying committed to the cause.

"One thing that won't change is our continued commitment to serve families in every way possible," Schaumburg said. "No matter what medium or mode that is, First Chance is here for families always."

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