Missouri’s governor is praising employees and customers at two Jefferson City businesses, for taking the COVID-19 threat seriously.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson toured the Orscheln Farm and Home store in Jefferson City on May 7, 2020 (photo from Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth)

Governor Mike Parson visited HyVee and Orscheln Farm and Home on Thursday morning, meeting with managers and employees about the state’s re-opening.

“You see the screens, the barriers that are put up between the cashiers and the customers,” Parson says. “You know, the availability of the sanitizers there.”

The governor also praises the HyVee grocery store for its senior shopping hours of 6-8 a.m, as well as social distancing markers at checkout lanes.

After stopping at HyVee, the governor and a few staffers traveled a few miles away to the Orscheln store on Missouri Boulevard. It’s a newly-remodeled store, which sells items like farm supplies, livestock feed, lawn and garden equipment, farm toys, tools and sporting goods.

The president of Moberly-based Orscheln, Marc Johnson, drove to Jefferson City to join Parson at the event. Johnson tells Missourinet safety is his top priority, for employees and customers.

“I think our customers are understanding that they have to keep the social distancing and they’re self-regulating, if you will,” he says.

Orscheln operates 165 stores in 11 states, including 45 stores across Missouri. Its corporate office and distribution center are in Moberly, which is north of Columbia.

Parson also spent ten minutes at Orscheln, answering questions from Capitol reporters.

He says the state continues to try to do more coronavirus testing, emphasizing that expanding the testing is one of his top priorities. The governor notes it’s one of the four essential pillars of the “Show Me Strong Recovery Plan.”

“We need to do a much better job of stockpiling to be able to do tests, and with all the new things, the Abbott equipment and everything that’s coming out, you’re going to see a much better job of that,” says Parson.

The governor says the state now has the capability of performing about 50,000 tests each week.

He praises the response from the state Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) to what’s happened at Triumph Foods in northwest Missouri’s St. Joseph, and says DHSS will be in St. Louis soon for a larger random sampling of about five hundred residents.

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