Employees and vendors delivering products are not included in the count, but businesses that are not deemed “essential” cannot have more than 10 individuals occupy a single space including both employees and customers. No businesses in the state have been ordered to completely shut down and cease operations.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson issued a statewide stay-at-home order that went into effect on Monday due to the COVID-19 pandemic and will remain in place for at least the next three weeks until the late evening of April 24.

The order directs all Missourians to avoid leaving their homes unless necessary and to practice social distancing anywhere they go whether it is work, grocery stores, warehouse stores, pharmacies or simply enjoying outdoor activities and more. Some businesses around the Lake area have already taken proactive measures to create safer environments for consumers and the statewide order should only help to ensure that for all businesses that remain open during the pandemic.

The order specifically outlines that smaller locations (less than 10,000 square feet) must maintain 25 percent or less of the authorized occupancy and for locations larger than that, the figure is 10 percent or less. Employees and vendors delivering products are not included in the count, but businesses that are not deemed “essential” cannot have more than 10 individuals occupy a single space including both employees and customers. No businesses in the state have been ordered to completely shut down and cease operations.

Under the order, businesses that have been deemed essential are healthcare workers and caregivers, first responders, government operations, mental health and social service workers, pharmacy employees, workers supporting grocers or pharmacies or other retail sales of food and beverage products, restaurants that offer carryout and quick-serve food operation and food delivery, farmworkers, utility industry employees, critical manufacturing employees (medical supply chains, energy, transportation, food and chemicals), workers in the petroleum or natural and propane gas industry, transportation and logistics workers and communications and information technology employees.

Some of those businesses did not hesitate, either, to applaud their employees who continue to work in unprecedented times.

“Our employees have been complete rockstars every day they come in. Their attitude, approach and energy they put forth from keeping supplies on shelves to greeting and helping customers has been phenomenal,” said Jamie Collins, the Vice President of Marketing and Advertising for Dierbergs Markets.

“When you are in the store, remember when waiting in line or passing another customer to please be mindful of the 6-feet guidelines. If you are not feeling well please stay home and just educate yourselves and practice CDC guidelines,” Collins continued. “Make sure you are washing your hands and keep yourselves healthy which helps associates, too.”

Others like Jason Meads, the Store Manager of High Brothers Lumber and Home Center in Camdenton, offered similar sentiments about the workers there.

“The employees have been great. We have people that go through and clean the store five to six times a day wiping down everywhere customers come through,” Meads noted. “We brought in hand sanitizing spots and all the employees have been using sanitizer before and after every transaction to keep it (COVID-19) from spreading.”

It is no different for Mary Szarmach, either, who is the Vice President of Trade Marketing and Government Relations for Smoker Friendly/Gasamat Oil Corporation. The company owns the outlet known as Lake Liquor in various locations.

“Our employees have been amazing across the country. Our first priority is their safety and health,” Szarmach stated. “We’ve given them everything we can to keep them safe and listen to them if they feel like they have an issue. Whether we change hours or close the store- there have been no issues in Missouri stores with positive tests- we do a deep cleaning the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends before reopening.

“If we do have an employee who needs a test that can’t get one as quickly as they hope, we furnish the money they need to help them get tested and quarantined. They are amazing and want to have jobs and provide for consumers, but in the safest possible manner.”

The Lake Sun has reached out to various types of businesses around the Lake area to help inform our audience of any new policies or procedures they need to be aware of as they go out and shop for the items they need. For retailers such as Hy-Vee, Walmart, Target or Lowe’s visit lakenewsonline.com or usatoday.com for previous stories.

Here is some of what we have gathered so far:


-Beginning April 7, the retailer will begin to limit the number of customers to 50 percent of the international building code’s calculated capacity to allow for proper physical distancing

-Sanitation practices include cleaning commonly used areas more often such as cashier stations, self-checkouts, credit card terminals, food service counters and shelves. Plexiglass partitions are being installed at check lanes including pharmacy counters and Starbucks registers. There will also be educational floor decals to promote distancing at check lanes and other counters.

-Store hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. with the first hour of shopping Monday through Thursday being dedicated to seniors 60-years-old and above along with high-risk customers defined by the CDC. Reduced store hours also allow associates to rest, clean and replenish inventory.

-The retailer has also enacted emergency leave guidelines, allowing for paid time off for associates diagnosed with COVID-19 and placed under mandatory quarantine for two weeks.

For more information, call your local store or visit https://www.gerbes.com/i/coronavirus-update


-Store hours have been adjusted from 7 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. in all locations.

-The number of slots have been doubled for curbside pickup, which can be accessed on the website or mobile app and the retailer will do its best to offer substitutes for items in high demand. Key items have been limited to a max of two per customer.

-There is a Senior Express Delivery Hotline at 417-204-4790 for shoppers 60 years of age and older. The call center is open from 6:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and delivery time will be between noon and 4 p.m. on those days. Shoppers will be limited to 30 items or less and there is free delivery within five miles of all locations. Deliveries will be made in the order they are received and can roll to the following day.

-The retailer suspended return and rain check policies on March 25.

-Items will be placed on service counters and not directly handed to guests. Hand sanitizer will be used between guests at the register and no reusable shopping bags are allowed at this time.

-Check stands, PIN pads, shopping carts, door handles, restrooms, drinking fountains and other frequently touched surfaces will be sanitized and an increase in the frequency of cleaning assignments has been implemented.

-The retailer has a strict policy of no sick workers and employees can wear masks at their own request. The retailer is also asking most people to shop after 8 a.m. to allow seniors a more relaxed environment. The number of customers allowed in the store at any given time varies by location.

For more information, call your local store or visit https://www.woodssupermarket.com/category/blog/covid-19


-On April 6, the retailer began limiting the number of customers allowed inside at any given time to 150 as a conservative starting point. The number of customers can vary by the size of the location and the number may increase as Easter approaches and substantially as time goes on.

-The retailer is implementing a one customer per household rule and once a store reaches a designated capacity, customers will be asked to form a line outside and will be allowed in as customers leave. Anyone who enlists the help of others for shopping should only send that designated person.

-The store will have temporary holiday hours, opening two hours earlier on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday before Easter, April 9-11. Stores will be open on these days from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The first hour on all days are being reserved for those with compromised immune systems and anyone 60 years of age or older. Normal hours are 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

-Customers are asked to wash their hands at the provided sinks before entering and after leaving the store. Signs have been placed as visual cues throughout stores to serve as reminders for social distancing, which the CDC recommends as six feet or more.

-Employees may wear protective bandannas and eyewear if they wish and plexiglass partitions have been installed at registers. Many in-store services including the seafood cooked-to-order service, full-service meat counters and the salad and olive bar self-service areas have been paused. A variety of prepackaged sections can be utilized for grab-and-go cases in the produce, deli, meat and seafood departments. Kitchen and Bakery is unable to take any catering orders until further notice. Associates have been advised of safe practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and have been asked to not report to work if they are experiencing flu-like symptoms.

-Reusable bags are asked to be left at home. Commonly used areas such as cashier stations, self-checkouts, credit card terminals, conveyor belts and door handles will be sanitized and customers will be provided free disinfectant wipes at store entrances to sanitize their shopping carts or baskets. No returns, refunds or rain checks can be issued at this time.

-The retailer partners with the company Shipt to for curbside pickup and home deliveries. Visit https://www.shipt.com/dierbergs-markets/ for more.

For more information, call the Osage Beach location at (573)-552-0200 or visit http://dierbergs.com/COVID-19


-The retailer is following all guidelines, limiting customers to 10 people in the store at any given time and taking safety measures for employees such as sanitizing and cleaning on a consistent basis.

-Customers who do not wish to enter the store can give a list of what they need and employees can bring it to the car. Customers can email jackssports@tryjacksfirst.com or call (573) 346-2279 if any accommodations need to be made.


-Signs have been posted asking customers to stay six feet away from each other and plexiglass has been installed at counters where interactions with customers take place.

-A number has been posted on the door for those who wish to utilize services like curbside pickup. According to Meads, the store usually does not have more than two or three customers in the store at once so social distancing has not been an issue as of this time.

-For more information, call (573) 346-5663.


-Provided stores with cleaning orders from the CDC, providing masks and gloves.

-Plexiglass installed at point of purchase and regular cleaning of keypads takes place.

-Allowing three customers in stores with six feet increments and spots have been taped to maintain proper social distancing.

-Curbside pickup has been discussed. If there is a location with more elderly consumers on a regular basis, a phone number can be given to make an order, location by location, as need be. As of now, there have been no real issues with high demand for products.

-Employees are told to never come in if they are feeling sick and stores may be temporarily closed if nobody is available.

-For more information, call (573) 348-3838.