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Parson highlights relaxed transportation rules’ role in COVID-19 fight

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)

Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday that his administration has relaxed regulations on commercial trucking to help supplies move across the state during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Motor carriers must be able to deliver essential supplies and equipment to our communities as quickly as possible," Parson said during a COVID-19 news conference streamed from the Capitol via Facebook Live.

Patrick McKenna, director of the Missouri Department of Transportation, said among the eased restrictions are those on the weight of truckloads on state highways. The looser regulations include shipments of poultry and livestock and the associated fuel and feed needed to run farms

MoDOT has implemented a 60-day grace period for expired commercial drivers' licenses. The agency also extended the time needed to renew medical certificates for commercial drivers' licenses.

McKenna said statewide transportation projects continue but workers must follow guidelines from public health authorities to slow the spread of COVID-19. Transportation officials also continue to work on projects using remote conferencing tools, he said. That includes pre-bid and pre-construction meetings.

The Department of Health and Senior Services announced Thursday at least 502 people have tested positive for novel coronavirus. The announcement from the state health department includes nearly 150 more confirmed cases of coronavirus.

State health officials have confirmed about 250 more COVID-19 cases in Missouri since Tuesday. At least eight people have died from coronavirus.

Boone and Cole County health officials both confirmed new cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday afternoon. At least 57 people have confirmed cases of novel coronavirus in Mid-Missouri.

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Matt Ragsdale

Matt Ragsdale is a broadcast and digital producer at ABC 17 News.

Matthew Sanders

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

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