Building on Missouri’s efforts to address COVID-19, Gov. Mike Parson on Saturday directed Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Director Dr. Randall Williams to order statewide social distancing.

The order includes new measures to protect the health and safety of Missouri citizens and front-line workers.

“As the COVID-19 crisis continues to develop, this is a critical step in protecting the health and safety of Missourians,”

Parson said. “I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for all citizens to practice social distancing and abide by this order, which is backed by intense deliberation and knowledge.”

The DHSS director, fi nding it necessary to protect public health and prevent the further spread of COVID-19, pursuant to the authority granted under Section 192.020, RSMo, ordered the following:

In accordance with the guidelines from the President and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, every person in the State of Missouri shall avoid social gatherings of more than ten (10) people. For purposes of this order, “social gatherings” shall mean any planned or spontaneous event or convening that would bring together more than ten (10) people in a single space at the same time.

In accordance with the guidelines from the President and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, every person in the State of Missouri shall avoid eating or drinking at restaurants, bars or food courts; provided, however, that the use of drive-thru, pickup or delivery options is allowed throughout the duration of this order.

In accordance with the guidelines from the President and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, people shall not visit nursing homes, long-term care facilities, retirement homes or assisted living homes unless to provide critical assistance.

In accordance with the guidelines from the President and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, schools shall remain closed. This Order does not prohibit schools from providing child care and food and nutritional services for those children that qualify. Teachers and staff may enter the building as long as they follow the directives set forth in this order.

This order does not prohibit people from visiting a variety of places, including grocery stores, gas stations, parks and banks, so long as necessary precautions are taken and maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, including maintaining at least six feet (6’) of distance between all individuals that are not family members.

For offices and workplaces that remain open, individuals shall practice good hygiene and, where feasible, work from home in order to achieve optimum isolation from COVID-19.

The more that people reduce their public contact, the sooner COVID-19 will be contained and the sooner this order will expire.

Per the order, local public-health authorities are hereby directed to carry out and enforce the provisions of the aforementioned order by means of civil proceedings.

Parson said the order took effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday morning.

It will remain in effect until 12:01 a.m. Monday, April 6, unless extended by further order of the DHSS director, with said extensions not to exceed the duration of the effective period of the governor’s Executive Order 20-02.

“This is a serious time for our state and nation, and we must continue taking all steps necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Parson concluded.


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