"It is truly incredible to think about how far Missouri has come since March. At that time, no one knew what to expect. There was a lot of uncertainty, worry, and concern. Concerns that our hospitals would be overwhelmed, and that we would not have enough ICU beds and ventilators. Concerns over PPE shortages. Concerns that testing would not be widely available and many, many other obstacles.
Here we are today, just over 90 days since our first case in Missouri, and we are so proud of our citizens, Missouri companies, and communities across the state for doing their part and using common sense.
Thanks to you, we have overcome ALL of these challenges and more than met our four pillars to reopen.
- Pillar 1 was testing – we went from testing only a handful of people each day to an average of approximately TEN THOUSAND tests per day over the past 2 weeks. Since April 20, weekly testing has increased more than 220 percent.
- Pillar 2 was PPE – we continue to receive and distribute PPE across the state, and we received national recognition on the Google PPE marketplace. We currently have over 100 hospitals, 436 suppliers, and more than 1,500 health care providers, Missouri businesses, and other organizations registered in the marketplace.
- Pillar 3 was hospital capacity – our hospitals were NOT overwhelmed, and we converted a hotel into a hospital in just 11 days thanks to the Missouri National Guard and the Army Corps of Engineers.
- Pillar 4 was data – we went from having no Missouri specific data to an entire dashboard of data from across the state.
We have learned and accomplished so much since March. Knowing what we know now, we are much better prepared to deal with COVID-19 going forward, which is why we are confident that Missouri is ready to take the next step forward.
Beginning Tuesday, June 16, we will move into Phase 2 of our recovery plan. In Phase 2, there will be NO statewide public health order – Missouri will be fully open for business.
Local officials will still have the ability to put further measures or regulations in place, but from a statewide stance, all restrictions will be lifted." – Governor Michael L. Parson, June 11, 2020
Businesses, residents, and visitors are still encouraged to practice the following guidelines as we continue in our Show-Me Strong Recovery.
General Guidelines for Missourians
- Citizens who feel sick should stay home!
- Continue to practice good hygiene, including:
- Washing hands with soap and water, or using hand sanitizer, especially after touching frequently used items or surfaces;
- Avoiding touching your face;
- Sneezing or coughing into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow; and
- Disinfecting frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.
- Avoid socializing in groups that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing. When in public (parks, outdoor recreation spaces, shopping malls, etc.), individuals should maximize physical distance from others.
General Guidelines for Business
- Prepare to implement basic infection prevention measures informed by industry best practices, regarding:
- Protective equipment;
- Temperature checks;
- Testing, isolating, and contact tracing; and
- Sanitation, including disinfection of common and high-traffic areas (entrances, breakrooms, locations where there is high-frequency employee interaction with the public/customers).
- Modify physical workspaces to maximize social distancing.
- Develop an infectious disease preparedness and response plan, including policies and procedures for workforce contact tracing when an employee tests positive for COVID-19.
- Monitor workforce for indicative symptoms. Do not allow symptomatic people to physically return to work until cleared by a medical provider.
- Develop, implement, and communicate about workplace flexibilities and protections, including:
- Encouraging telework whenever possible and feasible with business operations;
- Returning to work in phases and/or split shifts, if possible;
- Limiting access to common areas where personnel are likely to congregate and interact; and
- Ensuring that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance.
General Guidelines for Communities
- Closely monitor and track the containment, spread, and any resurgence of COVID-19, and adjust plans as necessary.
- Limit situations where citizens cannot maintain social distancing.
- Facilitate widespread testing of symptomatic and asymptomatic citizens.
- Work to protect the most vulnerable populations.
Frequently Asked Questions
What precautionary measures could be taken to mitigate the risks of contracting or spreading COVID-19?
Businesses and employees should work together to implement public health and safety measures for employees and customers, including employee use of personal protective equipment if available, in addition to any guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Strict sanitation protocols are also encouraged.
Employees should continue to practice good hygiene, especially if their job duties require contact with other people closer than six feet (6’). Furthermore, elderly or otherwise vulnerable populations should minimize travel to the extent possible and avoid socializing in groups that do not readily allow for appropriate social distancing.
Businesses and citizens are encouraged to continue utilizing delivery services, such as grocery pick-up and/or delivery options, to minimize interaction between people.
What if my job requires me to be within six feet (6’) of another employee and/or customer?
Businesses and employees should work together to implement public health and safety measures for employees and customers, using the above direction as a guide, in addition to any guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Gyms and hotel swimming pools should also adhere to sanitation protocols.
My business has a public waiting room with congregate seating. Should I limit access to it?
Implementing a system where customers/citizens can wait inside their vehicles prior to entering the business is strongly encouraged, as are pre-scheduled appointments to minimize interaction between people. In situations where this is not feasible, such as public transit, medical offices, and parks, entities should develop public health and safety measures using the above direction as a guide, in addition to any guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
How do these guidelines affect non-emergency healthcare, such as a routine eye exam or dental care?
Medical providers, such as dentists and optometrists, may provide usual services at their discretion. Medical providers are encouraged to continue to develop and implement public health and safety measures for employees and patients, using the above direction as a guide, in addition to any guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Implementing a system where patients can wait inside their vehicles prior to entering the office is strongly encouraged, as are pre-scheduled and spaced out appointments to minimize interaction between people.
May food courts and restaurants open their dining rooms?
Yes. We are strongly encouraging restaurants to prioritize public health and safety by implementing measures including, but not limited to, regulating self-serve options such as salad bars and buffets, using disposable menus, and employee use of personal protective equipment if available.
The continued use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is encouraged.
How do these guidelines apply to childcare facilities?
Daycares, childcare providers, or schools providing childcare for working families should continue to follow the CDC guidance targeted for those operations found at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/schools-childcare/guidance-for-childcare.html.
May I attend an in-person service at my place of worship?
Yes. Common practices that may occur with worship services, such as hand shaking and shared communion cups, should be avoided. Places of worship are also encouraged to continue use of alternative means of services through streaming services and other opportunities.
May I visit a loved one in their nursing home?
The State of Missouri and our partners in long-term care are committed to assuring the health and safety of some of our most vulnerable citizens in long-term care facilities throughout the state. Nursing homes, long-term care facilities, retirement homes, or assisted living homes may allow visitors in accordance with guidance set forth by the Department of Health and Senior Services.
We will also continue to take aggressive action with our box-in testing strategy when a positive case is identified in a long-term care facility.
Will I still be able to participate in my local parks and recreation organized activities and/or camps this summer?
Yes. Traditional summer activities such as utilizing aquatic facilities, community centers, fitness centers, libraries, organized athletics, and camps offer a variety of recreational opportunities for Missouri citizens. If these services are offered, we encourage adjustments be considered to mitigate the risks of contracting or spreading COVID-19 between participants, patrons, and staff, such as limiting the number of participants, modifying activities, restructuring programs, and increasing sanitization measures for facilities and participants.
Can I attend an event at a large venue or stadium, or go to a movie theater?
Yes. This also includes activities and events such as amusement parks and attractions, concerts, drive-ins, funerals, museums, school graduations and weddings.
Can I attend my annual county fair?
Yes. We encourage adjustments be considered to mitigate the risks of contracting or spreading COVID-19 between participants, patrons, and staff, such as modifying activities, restructuring programs, and increasing sanitization measures for facilities and participants.
County fair directors and boards are encouraged to work with their local public health authority to develop additional public health and safety measures, including employee use of personal protective equipment if available, in addition to any guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Operators/Management of County Fairs should follow the above General Guidelines for Business, particularly when it comes to addressing Concert/Stock Shows, Entertainment Venues, and Amusement Rides. Strict sanitation protocols are also encouraged.
Workers and Visitors should follow the above General Guidelines for Missourians.
We also advise areas of high touch or high traffic, such as picnic tables and eating areas, are frequently sanitized between users.
How does this affect summer school and the upcoming academic year?
Summer school and other activities may proceed under guidelines set forth by the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. Schools are also not prohibited from providing Food and Nutritional Services for those children that qualify.
Where can I get information regarding Missouri State Parks?
You may find information on the Missouri State Parks webpage, found here: https://mostateparks.com/temporary-closures
Where can I get information about Missouri’s gaming boats?
You may find information on the Missouri Gaming Commission website, found here: http://mgc.dps.mo.gov/Index.html
Can my local health authority impose requirements to address COVID-19 in my community?
Yes. There is currently no state-wide public health order in place. Local health authorities retain their statutory and regulatory authority to establish public health orders as needed for businesses or individuals within their jurisdiction to address positive cases.
The only exception to this authority is the Order from the Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services dated March 24, 2020, removing the authority of a local health authority from closing or restricting the operations of a business which is a part of the food supply, whether that be agricultural production, manufacturing, distribution, or sale of food. This limited waiver does not limit the authority of a local health authority from closing or restricting the operations of a retail food establishment. In addition, the Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services may issue further orders as deemed necessary.