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Missouri to prohibit gatherings of 10 or more to slow COVID-19

Gov. Mike Parson at news conference
ABC 17 News
Gov. Mike Parson, facing camera, stands next to department directors at his daily COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, March 18, 2020.


The state Department of Health and Senior Services will issue an order prohibiting gatherings of 10 or more people, Gov. Mike Parson said Friday.

Parson unveiled the planned regulation at a daily news conference to update the public on the fight against COVID-19. Parson said more details about the order would be released Saturday and the order was not yet in effect on Friday.

Watch the news conference in the player below.

“It’s not about shutting places down, it is designed to promote the health and safety of the people of Missouri,” Parson said.

Parson said the order is not meant to shut businesses down but to stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. He said he unveiled the regulation Friday before it goes into effect so that people are not surprised over the weekend.

"We have to do this," Parson said.

Several local governments have already imposed such limits.

Regulations will include some exceptions including religious organizations, grocery stores, hospitals and "other cornerstones of our communities," Parson said.

Sandy Karsten, director of the state Department of Public Safety, said truckloads of personal protective equipment were being delivered to hospitals and emergency personnel around the state. The supplies include equipment such as masks meant to keep health care workers and others from contracting the virus.

The news conference comes after a second death was announced in the state, this time in Jackson County. The state recorded its first death Wednesday in Boone County.

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Matthew Sanders

Matthew Sanders is the digital content director at ABC 17 News.


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