On March 19, 2020, the City of Branson passed a public gathering ordinance to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The goal of the ordinance is to make sure that people are not gathering in groups of ten or more and enclosed areas that are open to the public are operating in a way to ensure social distancing of six feet as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control. This is to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in our community.
1. WHO DOES THIS NEW LAW APPLY TO?
Everybody. Every person, business or organization in the City of Branson
2. WHO DOES THIS LAW NOT APPLY TO?
There is a specific exception for day care facilities, health care facilities, hospitals, medical facilities, medical and dental offices and clinics.
3. WHAT IS A PUBLIC GATHERING?
A public gathering is a planned or spontaneous event that could facilitate the spread of a communicable disease.
4. HOW BIG CAN A PUBLIC GATHERING BE?
Less than ten (10) people.
5. WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF PROHIBITED PUBLIC GATHERINGS?
Any type of social gathering or scheduled gatherings of people. The following would be examples of prohibited public gatherings:
- A wedding inviting fifty (50) people would be a public gathering.
- Twelve (12) coworkers meeting for lunch and eating together.
- Thirty (30) people waiting in line to buy concert tickets.
- Seventy (75) people coming together to watch a show.
- Sunday service with four hundred (400) people in attendance.
6. IF I OWN OR RUN A BUSINESS CAN I STAY OPEN?
At this time, you can keep your business open to the public if you keep the occupant load under twenty-five percent (25%) in your enclosed public space and you do not allow public gatherings of ten (10) or more people to occur.
7. WHAT IS OCCUPANT LOAD?
Occupant load is the total number of persons that might occupy a building or portion thereof at any one time. This is determined by fire code.
8. WHAT IS AN ENCLOSED PUBLIC SPACE?
An enclosed public space is an enclosed area to which the public is invited or to which the public is permitted.
9. IF MY ENCLOSED PUBLIC SPACE IS NOT OPEN TO THE PUBLIC DO I HAVE TO FOLLOW THE NEW OCCUPANT LOAD RULE IN THAT AREA?
10. DOES OCCUPANT LOAD INCLUDE EMPLOYEES?
11. WHAT ARE SOME EXAMPLES OF VIOLATING THE NEW OCCUPANT LOAD REQUIREMENTS?
12. WHAT ABOUT OUR SCHOOLS?
At this time our schools are subject to the same rules limiting a gathering of ten (10) or more people and the new twenty-five (25%) occupant loads in enclosed public spaces.
13. WHAT ABOUT OUR GROCERY STORES?
At this time our grocery stores are subject to the same rules limiting a gathering of ten (10) or more people and the new twenty-five (25%) occupant loads in enclosed public spaces.
14. WHAT ABOUT OUR HOSPITAL AND MEDICAL FACILITIES?
They are exempt from these rules as treatment of people with COVID-19 and other ailments is the number one (1) priority of the City of Branson at this time.
15. WHAT IF I HAVE ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS AND NEED GUIDANCE?
Please contact our Fire Department at (417) 243-2780.
REMEMBER THE GOAL IS TO ENSURE THAT THE PUBLIC IS PRACTICING SOCIAL DISTANCING OF SIX FEET TO PROHIBIT THE SPREAD OF COVID-19