COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)
A group that represents public health agencies in major Missouri metropolitan areas sent a letter to Gov. Mike Parson on Friday pushing for tighter controls on public movement.
The Missouri Center for Public Health Excellence wrote to Parson asking that he enact rules including a ban on public entry in most businesses and ordering that the public only leave their homes for medical care and supplies, work and groceries.
The organization also asked for increased support for health care workers and first responders including child care, respite care and testing. The center also requested a ban on gatherings of 10 or more statewide, the indefinite closure of all schools and the closure of nursing homes to the public.
The letter was sent the same day Parson told reporters in the Capitol that his administration would issue a statewide order that ended public gatherings of more than 10 people, limited food service to only drive-thru, pickup or curbside, ended public access to nursing homes and ordered schools closed. The order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday.
It wasn't clear late Sunday whether the letter was sent to Parson before he announced his plans during the afternoon news conference.
All public and charter schools in the state shut down last week, the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education reported.
The organization's membership includes the public health departments for the city of St. Louis, St. Louis County, Kansas City, Jackson County, Springfield and Greene County and Cole County.
City of Columbia spokesman Steve Sapp said the Columbia/Boone County Health Department was not a member. But he said department members attend most of the organization's meetings.
City and county health departments in the St. Louis and Kansas City areas have issued stay at home orders prohibiting residents from going out for anything but necessary tasks. Boone and Cole counties have prohibited dining inside restaurants and limited public crowds to 10 or fewer.