Jefferson City Today, Governor Mike Parson terminated Executive Order 20-02 ending the State of Emergency that had been in effect since March 13, 2020.
"In the nearly 18 months we operated under this Executive Order, we have responded to the COVID-19 crisis by providing unprecedented levels of resources and support," Governor Parson said. "This Order enabled us to respond to the unknown and everchanging needs of our state. Now, we know how to fight this virus and have a solution to ending the pandemic with the vaccine. Today, we are terminating this order as our situation no longer demands an expansive emergency declaration."
Upon the termination of Executive Order 20-02, Governor Parson issued Executive Order 21-09, which represents a more targeted State of Emergency declaration that acknowledges the continued needs of Missouri's health care system. While Missouri's economy has improved, the health care system is still experiencing strain due to current staffing shortages being exacerbated by COVID-19.
Executive Order 21-09 invokes the Governor's emergency powers pursuant to Section 44.100 and activates the Missouri National Guard for continued mission support in recovery operations, if needed. The order also keeps in place provisions related to remote notary services and telehealth, and it allows state agencies to request waiver of certain statutory and regulatory requirements that would otherwise hinder the state's response to ongoing COVID-19 challenges.
Any statutory or regulatory waiver approved under Executive Order 20-02 that is still in effect as of the date of the new order will remain in place. Approval of any new waivers will be aimed at supporting Missouri's health care system and response to COVID-19. New requests will be subject to approval from the Governor's Office.
Under the new order and as part of the transition process from the previous order, the state has significantly scaled back the number of waivers in effect. At the peak, more than 600 statutory and regulatory waivers were in place; however, only 163 waivers remain in effect under the new order. Many of the remaining waivers are implemented by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The remaining waivers were found to be necessary to support the health care system, provide regulatory flexibility, and ensure the state remains federally compliant.
"We have always taken a balanced approach in our response to COVID-19, and this new order demonstrates the progress we have made in fighting this virus," Governor Parson said. "Like all Missourians, we want this crisis to end and to close this chapter. However, while we are shifting our operations, we must maintain flexibility to aid our health care system and adapt to the challenges we face."
"We are returning to normal, but we must continue providing needed resources and support while more Missourians choose COVID-19 vaccination and are protected from serious illness," Governor Parson continued.
Executive Order 21-09 will terminate on December 31, 2021. To view the order, click here.