Missouri Government Actions on Covid-19 Updated 7/23/2020
Today’s update discusses:
- Missouri State Fair being cancelled, but youth livestock show still on
- Governor continuing to push for children to return to in-person school attendance
- Several schools releasing re-opening plans
- Law students asking Missouri Supreme Court to cancel July bar exam
- Jefferson City Council issuing mask mandate for public meetings
- Kansas City Mayor recommending delayed school re-opening
- Despite a prior decision to keep the Missouri State Fair going, the traditional fair has now been cancelled. The new plans are to “pivot” the fair to a youth livestock show instead. Officials expressed the importance of keeping the “invaluable agriculture experience” for 4-H and FFA members while also protecting the health and safety of the community. The livestock show will take place August 13-23. However, events like the opening day ceremony, the governor’s ham breakfast, carnival midway, and non-youth livestock-related events have been cancelled.
- Despite a continuous rise in COVID-19 cases across the state, Governor Parson is continuing to support sending children back to school in the fall. In a recent interview, the Governor stated, “these kids have got to get back to school,” and “if they do get COVID-19, which they will – and they will when they go to school – they’re not going to the hospitals. They’re not going to have to sit in doctors’ officers. They’re going to go home and they’re going to get over it.” He said that children are at the lowest risk possible. Later, he clarified his remarks, stating , “there is a very real possibility that there could be COVID in our schools, and we want to be prepared for that.” Missouri schools continue to release plans for this fall, with the caveat that the plans may change if the state continues to see a rise in COVID-19 cases.
- A number of Missouri schools have released their back-to-school plans. Most schools will be providing options. St. Louis County Executive Sam Page has encouraged parents to choose the virtual options available. Ritenour School District is offering the choice of in-person learning broken into three phases or the choice of full-time virtual learning. St. Louis Public Schools will provide three options: in-person learning and two virtual learning options. Hillsboro R-3 School District is also offering a choice between in-person learning or virtual learning. Other schools that have released plans include Fox C-6, Hazelwood, Lindbergh, Mehlville, Parkway, Rockwood, and St. Charles school districts, the Special School District of St. Louis County, and various private schools.
- While many states are changing either the dates of their bar exams or the way they’re being given, so far Missouri has kept its original plans to administer the test on July 28 and July 29. Given the growing number of COVID-19 cases in the state, recent law school graduates and others working to become licensed are asking the Missouri Supreme Court to cancel the in-person exam. The group sent a letter to the court explaining the risk of exposure, despite the preventive measures being taken.
- In a recent press conference, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has recommended that Kansas City schools delay starting the fall school year until after Labor Day. Officials hope this will give them a better understanding of the pandemic's status and give them time to reassess, if needed. In addition, Lucas has asked schools to increase precautions such as social distancing. While his suggestions are strongly encouraged, he made it clear he does not intend to issue any mandates, stating that each district should come up with a plan that best suits its needs.
- On Monday, the Jefferson City Council approved a mask mandate at certain city meetings. The Emergency Proclamation requires everyone aged 10 years and older attending any in-person public meeting to wear a face covering unless an exemption applies. While attendees are encouraged to bring their own face masks, the city will also make masks available.