Governor Parson Directs DHSS Director to Require Social Distancing Statewide
(JEFFERSON CITY, MO) – Building on Missouri’s efforts to address COVID-19, Governor Mike Parson has directed Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Director Dr. Randall Williams to order statewide social distancing.
The Order includes new measures to protect the health and safety of Missouri citizens and frontline workers.
“As the COVID-19 crisis continues to develop, this is a critical step in protecting the health and safety of Missourians,” Governor Parson said. “I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for all citizens to practice social distancing and abide by this order, which is backed by intense deliberation and knowledge.”
The Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services, finding it necessary to protect public health and prevent the further spread of COVID-19, pursuant to the authority granted under section 192.020, RSMo, hereby orders the following:
- In accordance with the guidelines from the President and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, every person in the State of Missouri shall avoid social gatherings of more than ten (10) people. For purposes of this Order, “social gatherings” shall mean any planned or spontaneous event or convening that would bring together more than ten (10) people in a single space at the same time.
- In accordance with the guidelines from the President and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, every person in the State of Missouri shall avoid eating or drinking at restaurants, bars, or food courts; provided, however, that the use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is allowed throughout the duration of this Order.
- In accordance with the guidelines from the President and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, people shall not visit nursing homes, long-term care facilities, retirement homes, or assisted living homes unless to provide critical assistance.
- In accordance with the guidelines from the President and the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, schools shall remain closed. This Order does not prohibit schools from providing child care and Food and Nutritional Services for those children that qualify. Teachers and staff may enter the building as long as they follow the directives set forth in this Order.
This Order does not prohibit people from visiting a variety of places, including grocery stores, gas stations, parks, and banks, so long as necessary precautions are taken and maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, including maintaining at least six feet (6’) of distance between all individuals that are not family members.
For offices and workplaces that remain open, individuals shall practice good hygiene and, where feasible, work from home in order to achieve optimum isolation from COVID-19. The more that people reduce their public contact, the sooner COVID-19 will be contained and the sooner this Order will expire.
Local public health authorities are hereby directed to carry out and enforce the provisions of this Order by means of civil proceedings.
The Order will take effect beginning 12:01 A.M. Monday, March 23, 2020 and remain in effect until 12:01 A.M. Monday, April 6, 2020 unless extended by further order of the Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services with said extensions not to exceed the duration of the effective period of Executive Order 20-02.
“This is a serious time for our state and nation, and we must continue taking all steps necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Governor Parson said. “The more people reduce their public contact, the sooner the virus will be contained and the sooner we can overcome this challenge.”