Developed May 4, 2020
Updated June 18, 2020
The following guidelines were made in collaboration with the Mesa County Public Health Department, the Downtown Grand Junction Market on Main, the Fruita Farmers Market, and the Palisade Sunday Farmers Market to ensure the safety and health of market participants and vendors during the COVID-19 pandemic. Farmers Markets have been deemed an essential service by Governor Polis and the Colorado Department of Agriculture, providing citizens with fresh fruits, vegetables, and other agricultural products.
These guidelines are subject to change as the markets progress and COVID-19 responses change. The Mesa County Public Health Department, the Downtown Grand Junction Market on Main, the Fruita Farmers Market, and the Palisade Sunday Farmers Market will review the guidelines every two weeks or as necessary to consider the effectiveness and implementation of the guidelines.
As of June 18, 2020, the layout of the Mesa County farmers markets will change in the following ways:
- The market will have limited entrance and exit points
- Customers must wait at least 6 feet apart from one another
- Customers will be let in gradually to maintain social distancing
- Crowd count will be maintained as customers enter
- Vendors will be spaced 6 feet apart from each other
- Vendor staff must stay 6 feet apart from all customers
- Customers at individual booths must stay 6 feet apart
- Customers will proceed one-way through the market and are allowed to loop through the market as many times as needed
- Hand sanitizer stations or hand-washing stations will be placed at regular intervals through the market
Types of Vendors Allowed
The following vendors are permissible per individual market guidelines:
- Farms and Agricultural Products
- Fruit, vegetables, honey, meat, bread, cheese (cow and goat), eggs, lavender, flowers, starter plants
- Prepackaged Foods
- Kettle corn/popcorn – can be popped on site but must be packaged before selling
- Food in jars including jams, jellies, kimchi, cheesecake, chow-chow, fruits, vegetables, etc.
- Packaged spices and bottled sauces
- Packaged noodles
- Wine and Spirits (with remote liquor license)
- Wine and cider
- CBD and medicinal plants
- Food and Snack Vendors/Trucks
- Food vendor must be able to accommodate lines that allow customers to remain 6 feet apart at all times
- Customers are allowed to sit and eat at the market, as long as tables are spaced at least 6 feet apart. Tables and chairs are recommended over picnic benches to help keep non-household members separated
- Number of food trucks might be limited to best accommodate space for people waiting to get food. Market managers will determine the presence of food and snack vendors/trucks due to individual market circumstances
- Food vendors without food trucks must cover all food items and package them as take-out items (desserts, breads, gluten-free products)
- Coffee will be limited to packaged coffee beans with a possible exception of a coffee food truck
- Pet Food and Supplies
- Hygiene Products (no touching or smelling items for sale)
- Soap, lotion, oil, etc.
- Homemade items such as jewelry, clothing, home décor, etc.
Music and Live Entertainment
- At this time, each market will determine the entertainment permissible to their individual market ensuring that all entertainment and spectators remain 6 feet apart.
Dogs and Pets
- Downtown GJ Market on Main has never allowed dogs or pets at their event, whereas Fruita and Palisade Markets have in the past. This year, dogs and other pets are not allowed at any market due to health and safety concerns. Service animals are permissible.
- Vendors are allowed to provide 2oz samples at the market.
- However, this does not include self-service samples such as chips and dips/salsas etc. Vendors should instead use either to-go cups or serve the customer the sample. The vendors who will be serving open food samples will need to have a hand wash set-up and not prepare ready-to-eat foods with bare hands.
- For the covering of food samples, the intent is to protect the food from contamination from flies, the environment, people etc (this also applies pre-COVID). If vendors are lining up 2oz sample cups, the cups should not be directly exposed to the elements. MCPH recommends trying to have the samples distanced from the customers or place a lid or “fly screen” cover over the samples. Vendors can also provide samples upon request by using tongs, spoons or napkins.
For non-food samples, size of sample and how sample is packaged is not regulated. So however the vendor provides it, it is acceptable.
Vendor and Customer Health Precautions
- All vendors and market personnel will wear masks at the market during any interactions. Vendors are allowed to remove mask when customers are not at their booth.
- Market customers are strongly encouraged to wear masks while at each market. Masks may be available for purchase as approved by the market manager.
- Vendors must keep a table in front of their merchandise to maintain social distancing
- Customers cannot touch any produce or products before purchase.
- Vendors are encouraged to pre-weigh and pre-package produce and products
- Vendors are asked to create pricing signs that can be seen by customers from a distance
- Disinfectant must be used by vendors during any and all transactions
- Vendors are encouraged to have one staff person handling payments only and other staff person handling the produce and products. If vendors are handling case and food, they must take the appropriate measures to avoid contaminating the produce and products.