Missouri Government Actions on COVID-19 – Updated 4/28/2020
Today’s update discusses:
- Governor Parson’s plan for reopening the economy next week, including recommended safety guidelines for residents and businesses
- Governor Parson has announced phases in which the state of Missouri will reopen, which he hopes will mitigate the possibility of causing another spike in COVID-19 cases. For example, in Phase One the Governor’s plan calls for no limitations on social gatherings, so long as necessary precautions are taken and six feet of distance can be maintained between individuals and/or families. These social gatherings include funerals, weddings, and graduations. This phase will last through the end of May, as the state is banking on expanded testing capacity and access to personal protective equipment.
- In addition to recommended social distancing guidelines, Governor Parson has also asked businesses to adopt several other recommendations through the end of May. Stressing the word “guidance” as opposed to “mandate” during his briefing, the Governor asked businesses to consider the following safety precautions when reopening:
- Implement infection prevention protocols
- Modify work spaces to encourage social-distancing
- Minimize business travel
- Develop a preparedness and response plan for a possible outbreak
- Require sick workers to receive clearance from a doctor before returning to work
- Encourage working from home when possible
- Phase in to a return–to-work procedure or adopt split shifts
- Limit access to common areas at work where employees might congregate
- Ensure flexible sick leave policies and practices
Under Phase One of the Governor’s plan, retail stores will also be required to limit the number of customers in the store at one time, depending on their square footage. For example, stores with less than 10,000 square feet can allow only 25% of the building’s space to be filled, while stores with more than 10,000 square feet can allow only 10% of its space to be occupied at one time.
- Acknowledging that COVID-19 cases are not trending downwards in all parts of the state, Governor Parson added to his briefing that local officials are free to branch off from his guidelines. Local officials in the St. Louis area, for example, are free to issue orders stricter than what the Governor calls for, which they have. St. Louis County officials say they would like to see 2,000 people tested per day before the local stay-at-home order is lifted.