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As more states issue 'stay-at-home' orders, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson leaves decision to counties and cities

(KY3)
Published: Apr. 1, 2020 at 5:22 PM CDT
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Speaking directly to viewers across southwest Missouri live on TV Tuesday night, Greene County Commissioner Bob Dixon applauded what his county has done in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

"When we went to the stay-at-home order, it had the effect we intended, and that was to get the attention of the people we care so deeply about," Dixon said.

Statewide, Governor Mike Parson hasn't been as strict, only issuing a social distancing rule, closing dining rooms, and banning gatherings of 10 or more people.

"I've written several letters asking for a statewide approach," said Clay Goddard, Director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

On Wednesday, Florida and Pennsylvania ordered all counties to be under a stay-at-home order, but Parson didn't budge.

"He's going to have to make that decision," said Missouri House Speaker Elijah Haahr. "I'm proud of the mayor, Ken McClure, for doing that in Springfield, I think that's a very helpful thing to do in Springfield. I'm proud of the county commissioners for doing it in Greene County. Obviously, I think it's something that is hopefully helps slow the spread of the virus here in the city."

KY3/KSPR's Andrew Havranek

called Parson's press secretary, Kelli Jones, on Wednesday.

She said the Governor would have to make a decision soon. The current social distancing rule ends on April 6th.

Jones couldn't say whether or not the governor would just extend that rule, or if he was considering a statewide stay-at-home order.

"The Governor is doing his best to balance the needs of the majority of counties with very few or no cases of the virus with the urgency of the metropolitan areas," said Rep. David Wood, R-Versailles. "If people would follow the orders that are currently in place, it would help."