Governor Parson talks COVID-19

Governor Mike Parson 

As the state prepares to move into the economic recovery phase of COVID-19, Governor Mike Parson Friday signed Executive Order 20-09 extending the state of emergency in Missouri through June 15, according to a release from the governor’s office.

“I want to be clear that this is not an extension of the ‘Stay Home Missouri’ Order. Our order reopening Missouri will still take effect on Monday, May 4,” Parson said. “Extending the emergency declaration simply allows us to continue utilizing our resources and deploying them around the state, even as we move into the recovery process. This also enables us to keep all of the waivers or suspensions of state statutes and regulations in place while we adjust to the reopening.”

Some of the items reopening will address include:

• Guidelines for small businesses and retail manufacturing.

• A plan for restaurants to reopen.

• Businesses such as barber shops, hair salons, and gyms, as well as other jobs requiring people to be within 6 feet of each other.

• Guidance for attending church services per conversations with religious leaders across the state.

• working with DESE to hopefully develop a process for senior graduation.

• weddings and outdoor functions will also be addressed.

• youth and summer sports and other outdoor activities will also be a question, and the governor will be addressing that as well.

Support local journalism and never miss a story in The Salem News. Sign up here.

“While we will gradually reopen the economy during this first phase of our plan, it will still be important to maintain certain measures of social distancing to protect both ourselves and others,” Parson said.

“Every community across Missouri has been affected differently by COVID-19, some worse than others. That said, some communities will be able to reopen at a faster rate than others.

If local leaders decide additional measures should be implemented, they may add to the current guidelines.”

Parson initially declared the state of emergency on March 13 with the signing of Executive Order 20-02. Since that time, over 450 state statutes and regulations have been waived or suspended to assist with Missouri’s COVID-19 response.

Extending the emergency declaration will allow these waivers and suspensions to remain in place as Missouri moves into the recovery process. It will also allow continued flexibility in utilizing and deploying resources around the state where they are most appropriate, according to the release.

Parson said the state has issued seven Executive Orders and waived or suspended over 450 state statutes and regulations. The state has also ordered nearly $40 million worth of PPE, and has significantly increased testing capacity.

“It is because of these efforts and working together that Missouri is in a better place, so we can move forward and bring back our economy,” he said. “We have drastically improved the predictions for Missouri, and we are moving forward with our plan to reopen the state on Monday, May 4th. We know there have been a lot of questions about what the reopening will look like.”