Missouri Government Actions on Covid-19 Updated 5/11/2020
Today’s update discusses:
- efforts to increase testing across the state
- Jackson County’s reopening
- lawsuit filed by a Jackson County church
- Since its reopening on May 4, the State of Missouri has increased its daily testing average to about 3,700 residents. While this number is much higher than its previous report of 2,800, it still falls far behind the recommended 9,700 tests per day benchmark for reopening from the Harvard Global Health Institute. Missouri health officials explain that the state’s current “strategy is to test everyone when a hot spot is identified,” but the state should see an increase in testing as hospitals test patients who are admitted for nonemergency procedures. One of the obstacles to reaching the testing threshold is that testing supplies are in short supply, but health officials anticipate that the supply will improve in the upcoming months.
- As discussed in last week’s update, Jackson County is re-opening today, starting with Phase One of a four-phase plan to reopen. Phase One allows for some additional re-openings, including outdoor activities and non-essential businesses such as restaurants and retail, with social distancing measures and capacity limits inside buildings. Phase One does not allow the reopening of certain events or venues where mass gatherings are common (such as schools, entertainment venues, and sporting events).
- A Jackson County church has filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri regarding the county’s recovery plan. The lawsuit alleges, “Jackson County’s Phase One recovery plan discriminates against religious institutions,” which are limited to gatherings of 10 people, while several businesses are allowed to operate at a 25% or 10% capacity. The church states that if it were to operate at a 10% capacity like a retail business, it would be allowed to have hundreds more people in the building.