Missouri Government Actions on Covid-19 Updated 6/9/2020
Today’s update discusses:
- Mail-in voting
- Small Business Grant Fund for St. Louis businesses impacted by COVID-19
- Guidance for reopening St. Louis gyms
- Millions of dollars being designated to St. Louis County child care centers and charitable organizations
- Missouri University council rejecting proposal for classes to start early
- Webster Groves' mayor announcing that its pools will not reopen this summer
- St. Louis County Executive asking protestors to self-quarantine in effort to prevent spread of COVID-19
- Governor Parson signed a bill into law allowing Missourians to vote from home using a mail-in ballot. This change applies to the August and November elections. While voters do not need a reason or excuse to vote from home, the ballot must be notarized to be valid. Notarization only applies to voters who are voting by mail with no excuse. Voters who are absentee need not obtain notarization.
- St. Louis small businesses may apply for a grant from the “Small Business Grant Fund,” which is part of a nearly $64 million relief package for St. Louis residents impacted by COVID-19. Those who are eligible could receive $5,000 as they begin to reopen and operate under new guidelines. To qualify for the grant, the business must have had 25 or fewer employees on March 19, be within the city of St. Louis, had a business license by March 19, and other restrictions.
- As St. Louis County gyms prepare to reopen by June 15, the county has released detailed guidance. For example, gym employees must screen customers, limit occupancy to 25% capacity, increase cleaning, and separate equipment by 10 feet or with barriers. In addition, specific guidelines for youth and adult sports will also go into effect.
- St. Louis County has announced that $15.4 million from the coronavirus stimulus program will go to child care centers and charitable organizations. More specifically, $5.9 million will go to child care centers in an effort to help them recover from business interruptions and to additionally help cover the costs they will incur to comply with county and federal guidelines. In addition, $9.5 million will go to nonprofit organizations that provide humanitarian relief. Those organizations include senior citizen and homebound programs, legal advocacy programs, housing assistance programs, utility assistance programs, and other social programs.
- To be able to conclude the fall semester before the onset of the flu season and a possible new outbreak of COVID-19 cases, leaders at the University of Missouri proposed starting the fall semester early and ending before Thanksgiving. However, the University of Missouri Faculty Council rejected this approach by a vote of 23-6. Instead, the council voted to start classes August 24 and to move to online-only classes after Thanksgiving break.
- The Mayor of Webster Groves and the City Council announced they will not reopen the city’s swimming pools for summer 2020 due to effects of the pandemic. Officials, concerned about revenue loss and reduced attendance, estimated that after restrictions were put in place, the revenue from opening the pools would be $248,363 less than expenses.
- St. Louis County Executive Sam Page has asked all protestors to self-quarantine if they were unable to wear a mask or maintain social distancing while protesting in the George Floyd/Black Lives Matter rallies held recently. Many officials are concerned that the large group protests will lead to another spike in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and possibly deaths. The pandemic has already had a major impact on the state, especially economically, and officials do not want to see a second spike in cases set the state back again.