INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The City of Independence has new business hours at many of its government buildings Monday as efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.
The changes come after the city announced more than 20 positive COVID-19 tests among its workforce, leading to more than 100 in quarantine.
"Well that's 10% of our workforce," Mayor Eileen Weir said. "So, I mean, we have about a thousand employees at the city. So, no business can operate at 90% of their workforce. We have a lot of contact with the public, I mean, that's what we do, and of course our police officers our firefighters, our public works crews are going to be out...our inspectors are going to be out doing their jobs."
The mayor said it comes down to people following infection prevention protocols.
"I just think that the most important thing that people need to realize because our community has done such a good job with wearing masks and washing their hands and the things that we've all become accustomed to doing, but it's really these crowds, I mean, it's really being around people who are not within your immediate household that is being attributed for this community spread that we're seeing," Weir said.
Weir also told 41 Action News that a financial boost is on the way for local small businesses, including utility assistance.
"We meet with our small business leaders routinely, we work very closely with our Chamber of Commerce and with our economic development corporation to make sure that we're doing everything we can to support these small businesses. We are going to be launching, in a few weeks, additional money for small business relief and we're just encouraging people, as we always do, support your local businesses. Understand that these are very vulnerable right now, particularly restaurants, who are operating at 30% loss," Weir said. "Some aren't surviving, some are going to survive, I mean, there are small businesses that will not survive this event. So, you know, we're just encouraging people in our community, remember your small businesses. I always say tip generously."
The new Independence building hours are as follows:
- City Hall: Open to the public Mondays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Independence Police Headquarters: Open to the public Mondays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Independence Utilities Center: Customer Service windows open to the public Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
- Roger T. Sermon Community Center: Open Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed on Sunday
- Truman Memorial Building: Open on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and closed Friday through Sunday
- Uptown Market: Open for events as posted
- Municipal Court (located on the lower level of City Hall): Open Monday through Thursday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Fridays from 8 a.m. to noon.
- Youth Court office hours are Tuesdays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.