JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KFVS) - Governor Mike Parson extended the statewide emergency order on Thursday, November 19.
He said the order will last until at least March, as coronavirus infections across the state continue to climb.
The emergency declaration allows flexibility in deploying critical resources around the state as well as the continued utilization of the Missouri National Guard and easing of regulatory burdens to further help in the state’s response efforts.
Due to extreme risks because of the onset of flu season and the winter months, Governor Parson issued a statewide public health warning outlining expectations for all people living and working in the state, including guidance for personal behavior, businesses and travel.
The health warning also includes community-level guidance and action plans based on three risk categories: extreme risk, critical risk and serious risk.
The governor’s office will be communicating with mayors, county commissioners and local leaders across the state to explain and help implement the appropriate guidance in their communities.
Wearing a mask, social distancing, and proper hand hygiene remain the three major COVID-19 mitigation strategies. Other key guidance includes the following:
- Limit interactions with others to less than 15 minutes
- Limit regular group interactions to a small group (10 or less) of family members
- Minimize travel outside of Missouri
- Consider occupancy limits reflective of social distancing
He said the social gathering recommendations outlined in the health warning are not intended to limit in-person learning.
Gov. Parson also stated that he stands firm on not issuing a statewide mask mandate. He said he believes the decision is up to local governments and communities, not the state.
The governor also said he will not be issuing gathering size limits at Thanksgiving. The CDC, meantime, is urging Americans to not travel for the holiday.
“As the Governor of the State of Missouri, I am not going to mandate who goes through your front door of your home,” said Parson. “ Whatever your family is your family. Your private residence is your private residence. Government has no right to go through the front door of your homes to decide how many members of your family are there and how many are not.”
He held the briefing at 9 a.m. on Thursday.
According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, on average, 3,908 new COVID-19 cases and 10 additional deaths are reported in the state daily.
As of Sunday, 2,453 COVID-19 patients are in Missouri hospitals. Of these patients, 582 are in the ICU and 298 are on ventilators.
The positivity rate in Missouri is currently 23.7 percent.
A total of 257,822 individuals have tested positive for COVID-19 in Missouri, including 3,507 deaths.
Currently, 2,865,173 Missourians have been tested for the virus.
For a list of testing sites in Missouri, click here.
The state’s dashboard was updated on Thursday morning and included data reported through Wednesday, Nov. 18. DHSS said all seven-day data was subject to a three-day delay.