Governor Mike Parson issued a Statewide Public Health Warning Due to Extreme Risks of COVID-19 yesterday.

“Missouri and the Midwest region remain central to the extreme COVID-19 outbreak our country is currently experiencing,” Governor Parson said in a press release. “If we do not slow the spread of the virus, our health care system will quickly become overwhelmed. This creates a major risk not only for COVID-19 patients but anyone requiring health care support, from emergency situations such as car accidents to the treatment of serious health conditions such as cancer.”

Governor Parson called on residents to change their behavior to stop the spread of the cornavirus.

The Governor wants Missouri residents to embrace the three major COVID-19 mitigation strategies including the wearing of masks, frequent hand washing and social distancing. Additionally the Governor is asking Missourians to limit interactions with others to less than fifteen minutes, limit regular group interactions to a small group of family members, minimize travel outside of Missouri, and consider occupancy limits reflective of social distancing.

The Governor's health warning includes community level guidance and action plans based on three risk categories: extreme risk, critical risk and serious risk. The Governor's Office will be communicating with mayors, county commissioners, and local leaders to help explain and implement appropriate guidance in their communities.

In a small bit of good news The Governor's office says COVID-19 transmission is schools has been minimal, especially in schools with mask mandates, so the social gathering recommendations outlined in the health warning are not intended to limit in person learning.

“This is a critical time for our state. Everyone is affected. Every community is at risk, and until a vaccine is widely available to the public, the best weapon we have against COVID-19 is prevention,” Governor Parson said. “This means that we all have to step up and do the right thing.”

“Our actions do make an impact. The actions we take today will determine where we are weeks from now,” Governor Parson continued. “The bottom line is that COVID-19 is still here, it is serious, and we need every Missourian to take responsibility and do their part. The safety of our state and our citizens depend on it.”