Gov. Parson announces statewide social distancing order, Missouri schools to remain closed

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has announced a statewide social distancing order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The order includes new measures to protect the health and safety of Missouri citizens and frontline workers, Parson says. It takes effect starting 12:01 a.m. Monday, March 23, 2020 and remains in effect until 12:01 a.m. Monday, April 6, 2020.

“As the COVID-19 crisis continues to develop, this is a critical step in protecting the health and safety of Missourians,” Gov. Parson said. “I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for all citizens to practice social distancing and abide by this order, which is backed by intense deliberation and knowledge.”

Additionally, all Missouri school will remain closed until at least April 6, 2020.

The social distancing guidelines include the following:

-Every person in the State of Missouri shall avoid social gatherings of more than ten people.
-For purposes of this Order, “social gatherings” shall mean any planned or spontaneous event or convening that would bring together more than ten people in a single space at the same time.
-Every person in the state of Missouri shall avoid eating or drinking at restaurants, bars, or food courts; provided, however, that the use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is allowed throughout the duration of this order.
-This order does not prohibit people from visiting a variety of places, including grocery stores, gas stations, parks, and banks, so long as necessary precautions are taken and maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, including maintaining at least six feet of distance between all individuals that are not family members.

“This is a serious time for our state and nation, and we must continue taking all steps necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Governor Parson said. “The more people reduce their public contact, the sooner the virus will be contained and the sooner we can overcome this challenge.”

As of Friday, Missouri has confirmed 73 positive cases of coronavirus and three deaths in the state.