Governor Mike Parson announced today that Missouri will fully reopen and enter Phase 2 of its “Show Me Strong Recovery” Plan on Tuesday, June 16, 2020.
“It is truly incredible to think about how far Missouri has come since March,” Parson said in a press release. “At that time, no one knew what to expect. There was a lot of uncertainty, worry, and concern. Here we are today, just over 90 days since our first COVID-19 case in Missouri, and I am proud to say we have overcome all of these challenges and more than met our four pillars to reopen.”
During Phase 2, there will be no statewide health order, according to Parson. All statewide restrictions will be lifted, though Parson said local officials will still have the authority to put further rules, regulations, or ordinances in place.
In his weekly statement on Friday, Branson Mayor Edd Akers welcomed the governor’s announcement, but is asking everyone remain vigilant.
“While this is great news for our local economy, please remain vigilant and practice what we know will keep it at bay,” Akers wrote. “This is a real disease and is not going away anytime soon. A friend of mine who works in Branson has recently been tested positive for COVID-19.”
The governor’s office said the decision to reopen was dependent on the four essential “Show Me Strong Recovery” pillars:
–Expand testing capacity and volume in the state
–Expand reserves of PPE by opening public and private supply chains
–Continue to monitor and, if necessary, expand hospital and health care system capacity
–Improve ability to predict potential outbreaks using Missouri’s public health data
Weekly testing in Missouri has increased more than 220 percent from approximately 16,000 test encounters the week of April 20 to over 53,000 encounters the week of May 25. Over the past two weeks, the state has averaged more than 10,000 tests per weekday.
Hospitalizations fell by 43 percent statewide from May 1 to June 10. In April, the state converted a hotel into an alternate care site in just 11 days.
Missouri now also has a comprehensive COVID-19 dashboard containing data from across the state on testing, positivity rate, deaths, and hospitalizations. Much of the data is broken down further by county or demographics.
“We have learned and accomplished so much since March. Knowing what we know now, we are much better prepared to deal with COVID-19 going forward, and we are fully confident that Missouri is ready to take the next step,” Parson said.
While Missouri will fully reopen on June 16, Governor Parson emphasized the importance of continuing social distancing and practicing proper hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We must remember that COVID-19 is not gone,” Parson said. “It is still extremely important for everyone to continue social distancing. Be proactive. Avoid large, congested crowds, and if you can’t social distance, take extra precautions to protect yourself and those around you.”
“We all know how to do this now, and it is up to us to take responsibility for our own actions,” Governor Parson continued.
In preparation of Phase 2, Governor Parson signed Executive Order 20-12 extending the state of emergency in Missouri through December 30, 2020, in order to use federal CARES Act funding. Extending the state of emergency will also allow continued flexibility in deploying resources around the state as Missouri reopens and recovers from COVID-19.
Executive Order 20-12 also further extends four previous Executive Orders assisting with Missouri’s COVID-19 response through December 30:
–Executive Order 20-04 easing regulatory burdens and certain provisions related to telemedicine and motor carriers
–Executive Order 20-05 allowing the sale of unprepared restaurant foods to the public
–Executive Order 20-06 mobilizing the National Guard in our response efforts
–Executive Order 20-08 waiving the requirement for a person to be physically present in front of a notary public