Gov. Parson pushes back on White House Task Force mask, restaurant capacity restriction recommendations while citing new report from task force

Published: Sep. 9, 2020 at 6:12 PM CDT
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KY3) - A White House Coronavirus Task Force Report to Missouri dated August 30th was made public by the Center for Public Integrity this past weekend.

It said Missouri was 10th in the nation in COVID-19 cases per capita, putting the state in the red zone. The task force recommended a statewide mask mandate, and restrictions on indoor capacity at bars and restaurants.

When asked about the report Wednesday, Governor Mike Parson said it was outdated.

“The report you’re making is weeks old," Parson said. “The new guidelines are not calling for a statewide mandate. They just came out with that a couple of days ago.”

Parson said a new report was given to the state by the White House task force just last week.

KY3/KSPR’s Andrew Havranek filed a request for the report, but has not yet received it.

It was again obtained by the Center for Public Integrity just after 4:00 p.m. Wednesday.

According to the report, the Task Force said Missouri had moved to 7th in COVID-19 cases per capita, having 150 cases per 100,000 people. The national average is 88 per 100,000.

One in three Missouri counties is considered to have high community spread and considered to be in the ‘red zone.’

Another third of the state is considered to be in the ‘yellow zone.’

The report recommends masks to be required in metro areas and all counties where there are cases among teachers and students in kindergarten through 12th grade.

Parson did not say what was in this new report during his news conference.

Havranek asked him why the state did not follow the recommendations from the August 30 report, especially ahead of what was another busy holiday weekend at the Lake of the Ozarks, where both Camden and Miller Counties remain in the ‘red zone.’

Instead, Parson stressed ‘personal responsibility.’

”We’re telling everybody, you know, social distance, wear a mask, do personal hygiene," Parson said. “Keep your hands clean and continue doing that. We’ve said that since day one.”

The report also cited recommendations for university settings, which Parson alluded to, saying the state was meeting with university and college presidents and administrators.

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