Missouri to fully reopen, enter Phase II Tuesday
Pending expiration of Phase I on June 15, Gov. Mike Parson announced today that Missouri will fully reopen and enter Phase II of its “Show Me Strong Recovery” Plan on Tuesday.
“It is truly incredible to think about how far Missouri has come since March,” Parson said. “At that time, no one knew what to expect. There was a lot of uncertainty, worry, and concern. Here we are today, just over 90 days since our first COVID-19 case in Missouri, and I am proud to say we have overcome all of these challenges and more than met our four pillars to reopen.”
During Phase II, there will be no statewide health order. All statewide restrictions will be lifted, though local officials will still have the authority to put further rules, regulations, or ordinances in place. The decision to reopen was dependent on the four essential “Show Me Strong Recovery” pillars:
1. Expand testing capacity and volume in the state
2. Expand reserves of PPE by opening public and private supply chains?
3. Continue to monitor and, if necessary, expand hospital and health care system capacity
4. Improve ability to predict potential outbreaks using Missouri's public health data
Weekly testing in Missouri has increased more than 220 percent from approximately 16,000 test encounters the week of April 20 to over 53,000 encounters the week of May 25. Over the past two weeks, the state has averaged more than 10,000 tests per weekday.
Missouri continues to receive and distribute PPE across the state. On Wednesday, the state reached a record PPE shipment, expanding to include not only hospitals, health care facilities, and EMS but also dental offices as more are reopening across the state. Yesterday’s shipments included the following:
• 17,230 gowns
• 42,720 N95 masks
• 262,000 gloves
• 77,100 surgical masks
• 18,432 face shields
Missouri has also received national recognition for the use of its PPE marketplace, which helps health care providers with Missouri manufactures and suppliers. Currently, there are more than 100 hospitals, 436 suppliers, and 1,567 health care providers, businesses, and other organizations registered in the PPE marketplace.
Regarding hospital capacity, hospitalizations fell by 43 percent statewide from May 1 to June 10. In April, the state converted a hotel into an alternate care site in just 11 days.
Missouri now also has a comprehensive COVID-19 dashboard containing data from across the state on testing, positivity rate, deaths, and hospitalizations. Much of the data is broken down further by county or demographics.
“We have learned and accomplished so much since March,” Parson said. “Knowing what we know now, we are much better prepared to deal with COVID-19 going forward, and we are fully confident that Missouri is ready to take the next step.”
While Missouri will fully reopen on Tuesday, Parson emphasized the importance of continuing social distancing and practicing proper hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We must remember that COVID-19 is not gone,” he said. “It is still extremely important for everyone to continue social distancing. Be proactive. Avoid large, congested crowds, and if you can’t social distance, take extra precautions to protect yourself and those around you.
“We all know how to do this now, and it is up to us to take responsibility for our own actions.”
In preparation of Phase II, Parson signed Executive Order 20-12 extending the state of emergency in Missouri through Dec. 30 to utilize federal CARES Act funding. Extending the state of emergency will also allow continued flexibility in deploying resources around the state as Missouri reopens and recovers from COVID-19.
Executive Order 20-12 also further extends four previous Executive Orders assisting with Missouri’s COVID-19 response through December 30:
• Executive Order 20-04 easing regulatory burdens and certain provisions related to telemedicine and motor carriers
• Executive Order 20-05 allowing the sale of unprepared restaurant foods to the public
• Executive Order 20-06 mobilizing the National Guard in our response efforts
• Executive Order 20-08 waiving the requirement for a person to be physically present in front of a notary public.