Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced today (Thursday) that he was extending the statewide stay-at-home order.

"Between now and May 4, we will continue to monitor the situation and work with Missouri's hospitals, health care providers, public health experts, business leaders, and state departments to develop a plan," Parson said. "With the safety of Missourians at its core, our approach will be deliberate and data-driven. I understand that social distancing has caused significant sacrifice on the part of Missourians, but as I’ve said before, this is a time when we must all make sacrifices."

Dent County Health Center administrator Kendra Mobray commented after Gov. Parson's statement. 

"I appreciate Governor Parson making the tough decision to extend the stay-at-home Missouri order. He has made it clear that public health and safety is his top priority. Lives will be saved because of it. We know this decision will prolong the strain on local businesses but I am confident that this community will rally together at the end of this pandemic to support those who have sacrificed so much for our safety. Hang in there Dent County, it takes each and every one of us to win this battle," said Mobray. 

Several counties and cities have extended orders past the date of May 4. Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas announced he has extended the city's stay-at-home order until May 15.

St. Louis City Mayor Lyda Krewson said in a press conference the stay-at-home order is in effect indefinitely for St. Louis City and County. Krewson said they will reevaluate the order in the next two or three weeks.

The first confirmed case of COVID-19 was reported March 8 in St. Louis County. Since that time over 50,400 people have been tested. There are 5,111 positive cases of COVID-19 in Missouri and 152 deaths., as of April 16, according to Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.