Gov. Mike Parson announced on June 11 that Missouri will fully reopen and enter Phase 2 of its “Show Me Strong Recovery” Plan on Tuesday, June 16.
“It is truly incredible to think about how far Missouri has come since March,” Parson said in a press statement. “At that time, no one knew what to expect. There was a lot of uncertainty, worry, and concern.
“Here we are today, just over 90 days since our first COVID-19 case in Missouri, and I am proud to say we have overcome all of these challenges and more than met our four pillars to reopen.”
During Phase 2, there will be no statewide health order.
All statewide restrictions will be lifted, though local officials will still have the authority to put further rules, regulations, or ordinances in place.
The decision to reopen was dependent on the four essential “Show Me Strong Recovery” pillars:
- Expand testing capacity and volume in the state.
- Expand reserves of PPE [personal protective equipment] by opening public and private supply chains.
- Continue to monitor and, if necessary, expand hospital and health care system capacity.
- Improve ability to predict potential outbreaks using Missouri’s public health data.
Weekly testing in Missouri has increased more than 220% from approximately 16,000 test encounters the week of April 20 to over 53,000 encounters the week of May 25. Over the past two weeks, the state has averaged more than 10,000 tests per weekday.
Missouri continues to receive and distribute PPE across the state. On June 10, the state reached a record PPE shipment, expanding to include not only hospitals, health care facilities and EMS but also dental offices as more are reopening across the state. The June 10 shipment included the following:
- 17,230 gowns
- 42,720 N95 masks
- 262,000 gloves
- 77,100 surgical masks
- 18,432 face shields
Hospitalizations fell by 43% statewide from May 1 to June 10.
“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, and we are fully confident that Missouri is ready to take the next step,” Parson said.
While Missouri will fully reopen on June 16, the governor emphasized the importance of continuing social distancing and practicing proper hygiene to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
“We must remember that COVID-19 is not gone,” Parson said. “It is still extremely important for everyone to continue social distancing. Be proactive. Avoid large, congested crowds and if you can’t social distance, take extra precautions to protect yourself and those around you.”
In preparation of Phase 2, Parson signed Executive Order 20-12 extending the state of emergency in Missouri through Dec. 30 in order to utilize federal CARES Act funding and allow flexibility in deploying resources around the state.