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Parson announces new COVID-19 regulations that will allow businesses to reopen


Gov. Mike Parson said Monday that businesses will reopen in Missouri next week but the public will still be barred from nursing homes and retirement communities.

Parson announced his newest order Monday during his daily COVID-19 briefing. The order begins May 4, when a current statewide stay-at-home order ends, and will continue through May 31.

You can watch a replay of the news conference in the media player below.

“All of Missouri’s businesses, employers, and employees are vital to our state’s economy and well-being,” Parson said in prepared remarks. “Opening these businesses is going to look very different for awhile, but I’m confident Missourians will abide by the guidelines as we move forward.”

State health and economic officials joined Parson for the briefing. Speakers had to raise their voices to be heard over nearby protesters in the Capitol who were shouting down speakers in a push for immediate reopening.

Parson said the new guidelines will allow businesses around the state to reopen as long as they can do so while following social distancing guidelines of 6 feet between people, with some exceptions. Restaurants will be required to seat no more than 10 people at one table.

Churches will also be able to reopen.

Parson emphasized the four pillars of the reopening plan: expanding testing capacity, expanding reserves of personal protective equipment, continuing to monitor health care system capacity and using public data to predict potential outbreaks.

Parson reiterated that some areas will be slower to reopen and that local leaders can keep more strict restrictions on movement and business than the state's rules.

The Columbia/Boone Health Department said they are looking into changing the county's order after seeing the governor's state-wide order.

The Cole County Health Department also said they will discuss the new order with community partners to make decisions on how to more forward. A spokesperson said the order is good for the state, and they will determine if it fully applies to the situation in Cole County

The 10-person limit on social gatherings will be lifted.

Herb Kuhn, president and CEO of the Missouri Hospital Association, said hospitals will also gradually resume non-emergency procedures not related to COVID-19.

Parson said testing in designated hot spots, including urban areas and rural counties such as Saline and Moniteau, will be part of the reopening plan. The Saline County Health Department said Monday that the state plans to test 400 residents Tuesday and Wednesday.

Todd Richardson, director of Missouri Medicaid program MO HealthNet, said testing capacity is high enough that primary care doctors should feel comfortable ordering tests for patients through private labs.

Some businesses around St. Louis have started to reopen after some local leaders lifted coronavirus restrictions.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said Monday that 7,171 people have tested positive for COVID-19 and 288 have died from coronavirus.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

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Matthew Sanders

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


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