Garage Sales are on but there are guidelines to follow

The unofficial start of summer arrives with the Memorial Day Weekend (May 23-25), the first long weekend of the summer season, and while there is much unknown on how the summer will unfold, the warmer weather will naturally draw people outside.

As the state continues to recover from the COVID-19 health crisis, residents are reminded that it is strongly recommended citizens continue to follow the guidelines established by state and federal agencies in response to the pandemic.

And that includes hosting or visiting garage sales, yard sales, and other outdoor sales events.

“I know that people are anxious to begin garage sales and while the best case scenario is to wait, I know that some will not,” Diana Broderson, Mayor of Muscatine, said. “With that in mind, please make sure that if you do have a garage sale make accommodations so that everyone attending, as well as the host, follows all social distancing guidelines.”

Some of the guidelines public health departments have provided when having and/or attending any of these sales events include the practice of social distancing. Those hosting sales events can implement social distancing policies in the following ways:

By placing posters that customers can see upon arrival and while shopping that encourages the use social distancing;

By setting up tables and chairs at least six-feet apart;

By using heavy-duty tape to create a flow guide that customers can follow throughout the sale; and,

By asking customers to stand in a line, while spread apart, during high traffic times.

Public Health officials also recommend cleaning all tables and chairs with a disinfectant several times throughout the day including before the sale starts and after the sale concludes for the day. The recommendation also includes making sure that all merchandise is washed and dried, and/or wiped down with a disinfectant product before placing on a table or chair for sale.

Two other recommendations are to wear masks and disposable gloves at all times during the sale, and to have hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol on tables and other places for customers to use.

Hosts are also reminded that the Governor’s Emergency Public Health Crisis proclamation that is still in effect does not allow gatherings of 10 or more people.

“My main objective is to keep people safe,” Mayor Broderson said. “The best way to do that is for everyone to stay home. However, as the Governor begins reopening the state including retail stores, it seems garage sales should be allowed as well.”

Mayor Broderson stressed the importance of residents hosting a sales event to figure out a way to have social distancing in place for those attending and for those hosting.

“Please make sure that these guidelines are strictly enforced,” Mayor Broderson said. “If you go to a garage sale that you see is not following social distance guidelines, please skip that sale and move on to another that is following them. If people refrain from attending those garage sales that are not following the recommended guidelines, perhaps the lack of customers will encourage them to follow the guidelines as well.”

The City thanks all Muscatine residents for following the guidelines of social distancing and personal hygiene to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. Protect yourself and others from COVID-19 by taking these precautions:

  • Stay home, especially if you feeling ill;
  • Practice Social Distancing;
  • Get adequate sleep and eat well-balanced meals;
  • Wash hands often with water and soap (20 seconds or longer);
  • Dry hands with clean towel or air dry your hands;
  • Cover your mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing;
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, mouth with unwashed hands or after touching surfaces;
  • Clean and disinfect “high-touch” surfaces often;
  • Call before visiting your doctor;
  • Practice good hygiene habits

Mental health is just as important as physical health. If you or a loved one are facing problems with alcohol, drugs, gambling, mental health, or suicidal thoughts, contact Your Life Iowa by live chat, text (855-895-8398) or phone (855-581-8111). YourLilfeIowa.org was created by the Iowa Department of Public Health so Iowans can chat live, text, or call, and get reliable information and treatment options, and find nearby help.

For answers to your COVID-19 questions, dial 2-1-1.

— City of Muscatine