Yard sales pick up, Jasper County Health Department offers advice

JOPLIN, Mo. – This estate sale was temporarily put on hold over coronavirus concerns, but since things have begun to reopen, the Tolivers felt more comfortable opening up their driveway.

“We just wanted to keep ourselves safe and everyone that come in, so we’ve kinda made it to where we’re monitoring who comes in, who goes out, so there’s not too many people in,” explained Flossie Toliver.

While she was a little worried about the turnout, Toliver says sales have been pretty steady and people seem to be enjoying themselves.

“I’ve noticed it’s not as busy as it has been in the past, and I’m sure everyone is still a little nervous about it, and there’s a lot of people who wear masks and there’s a lot of people that don’t, but we just kinda keep our distance and I notice everyone else does the same,” she observed.

When it comes to staying safe, no matter where you are, health officials say keeping that distance is key.

“If someone’s setting up a yard sale, they need to think about keeping the tables apart a fair distance and allowing room for people to intermingle without having to be crowded into a small space,” said Tony Moehr with the Jasper County Health Dept.

Different states, and even different towns within those states, have varying rules on yard sales. In Joplin, for example, the city asks that groups still be kept to 10 or less, but statewide the limits are less stringent.

“The state order no longer has the limit of 10, however, the smaller the crowd you can keep, the better, and you definitely need to be doing the social distancing,” said Moehr.

Moehr adds that it’s also a good idea to sanitize your items since the coronavirus can live on different surfaces for up to several days.

“If you’re going to buy something, you may consider, leave it in your trunk for two or three days, or you can sanitize it if it’s a surface that can be easily sanitized.”

Hand-washing is also recommended, especially after handling items.

If you’re following this advice, Toliver believes safe sales are possible for shoppers to get back to.

“It’s a past-time for people and everyone loves a good bargain,” she said.

In Oklahoma, as of May 15, garage sales are allowed, but with a limit to a group of 50. They must be held outdoors and allow for social distancing to take place.

The City of Pittsburg, Kansas is also issuing yard sale permits.