Starting this weekend, only one adult shopper per household will be allowed in businesses still operating, as per a joint executive order issued by Scott County Judge-Executive Joe Pat Covington and Georgetown Mayor Tom Prather.
A minor child may accompany a parent or guardian, according to the order.
“We are trying to communicate people need to limit social contact as much as possible,” Covington said.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear and health officials have expressed concern about crowds inside large superstores and grocery stores as the surge of confirmed COVID-19 cases rises. At press time Scott County has 17 patients with confirmed cases of the coronavirus and WEDCO officials caution that number will likely grow daily for at least a week or more.
Photos on social media of people almost shoulder to shoulder in some Georgetown stores have been circulating. Social media posts of some employees expressing concern about the crowds and the failure of some to observe the social distancing of six feet has also gotten officials and business leaders attention.
The executive order not only limits to one adult shopper per household, but also requires the businesses to establish some policies and procedures or risk closure. The executive order requires:
—The business must develop policies to ensure social distancing in order to remain open.
—The number of shoppers entering a business must be limited to one adult per household. Minor children may be accompanied by a parent or guardian, if absolutely necessary.
—All shoppers entering a business are required to maintain a social distance of six feet and complete their shopping as quickly as possible.
—This executive order will remain in effect until local, state and federal emergency orders on the pandemic are listed.
Many communities have already imposed some restrictions on the number of shoppers allowed into a business, but Covington said he and Prather wanted to add language allowing children because of single parents or other situations. They could not find such stipulations in other communities, but they agreed giving parents some leeway was important.
“But we are still trying to limit as much as we can,” he said.
Business managers have been cooperative, but the executive order will send a message that social distancing is important, even when shopping, Covington said.
Signs alerting shoppers to the new limits were distributed Friday afternoon and are expected to be clearly posted.
Mike Scogin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.