JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
Gov. Mike Parson made two stops to businesses in Jefferson City on Thursday morning to check in after the state lifted many COVID-19-related restrictions this week.
Jefferson City Hy-Vee store director Rod Dolph said 200 pick-up grocery "fixtures" were purchased due to COVID-19, as the store saw a 300 percent to 400 percent increase in online shopping.
The fixtures resemble trailers and are where groceries ordered online are placed as they are picked up.
Dolph said the company was fortunate enough to purchase 200 pick-up fixtures and have them on-site virtually overnight.
Hy-Vee's business basically changed overnight, Dolph said.
"We had to be able to react to that instantly," Dolph said. "And fortunately, we were, and the customers have been absolutely sincerely appreciative of how we've handled it."
Dolph said these fixtures will become a permanent part of many Hy-Vee locations moving forward.
Parson said the pick-up grocery fixtures are just one alternative for people to get groceries without being out in the public if they don't want to.
"I think that was the whole philosophy when we kind of opened up the state of Missouri is to give people those opportunities to do that," Parson said. "And we do to the grocery store business they've been on the front lines from day one, so they kind of adapted to that pretty early."
Parson said moving forward these types of business models will be seen all over the state as businesses strive to make sure that the customer's wants and desires are met.
Parson also visited Orscheln's Farm and Home in Jefferson City.
Parson did not wear a mask during the visits after saying earlier in the week that he had chosen not to wear one during stops at southwest Missouri businesses.
Parson on local regulations
ABC 17 News asked Parson if he foresees that at any point the state would step in to remove or lessen health department order at the local level. A group of Boone County businesses questioned this week whether the local health director has the authority to issue such restrictions.
Parson said he is a firm believer the state has a role to play, but local governments have the local responsibility.
Parson said he understands the state is diverse.
"Things are different in St Louis than they are in Springfield, Missouri," Parson said. "Things are different Douglas County than they are in other counties."
Parson said the local levels still need the authority to implement stricter regulations if they needed to be, as every circumstance is different.
Stay up to date on this developing story here and on ABC 17 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m.