compiled by Brian Hauswirth and Ashley Byrd
Missouri’s governor has issued a statewide public health warning because of the continued increase in new COVID cases statewide. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) says there have been 27,358 new COVID cases in Missouri in the past week, which is an average of 3,908 new COVID cases per day.
The DHSS new COVID-19 advisory provides expectations for communities, with three action plans for counties based on positivity rates. Counties with a PCR 7-day positivity rate of 15 percent or above are advised to limit social group sizes to ten or less, and masks are advised in all offices and businesses where social distancing isn’t possible. In counties with a PCR 7-day positivity rate of 10 to 14 percent, counties are advised to limit social group sizes to 25 or less, and that offices and businesses with more than ten people should have masks. For counties with a PCR 7-day positivity rate of five to nine percent, social groups should maintain six feet of social distance.
The advisory is simply that, however, a set of recommendations to counties and not an order, Missourinet confirmed with DHSS. The consequences of not complying are, as the White House Coronavirus Task Force describes, the exponential spread of the virus and the overburdening of health care systems.
Parson explained that this puts restrictions in the hands of mayors and counties instead of his office because he believes in local control, with “citizen input.”
“Government’s not going to mandate everything you need to do in your lives, nor do I want government to mandate, you don’t need that right now. You just need to take it upon ourselves to make tough decisions, wise decisions, and to slow the spread,” the governor said Thursday. “We don’t want to be like these other states around us. To be able to protect our economy, to be able to protect our lifestyle, we have to take action.”
The Parson administration has also issued a travel advisory for Thanksgiving, urging Missourians to minimize travel outside of the state and to wear a mask and practice social distancing.