Missouri’s COVID-19 Response Efforts – 30-Day Recap

Jefferson City, MO (STL.News) As the COVID-19 crisis develops both in Missouri and across the nation, Missouri Governor Mike Parson and his administration continue taking steps each day to respond and adapt accordingly.

“A tremendous amount of work has been accomplished in just a short period of time, and it does not stop here,” Governor Parson said.  “I want Missourians to know that we are doing and will continue to do everything in our power to respond to this crisis and support them in every way possible.”

The Governor’s Office was initially briefed on the COVID-19 pandemic by Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Director Dr. Randall Williams on January 28, 2020, and immediately began taking steps to prepare.

In addition to regular briefings with DHSS and the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) throughout February, Governor Parson began weekly conference calls in March with Vice President Pence and other governors as well as Missouri mayors, county commissioners, and local emergency management personnel.

In just the last 30 days, Governor Parson and his administration have accomplished a tremendous amount of work and have taken numerous actions to respond to COVID-19 in Missouri:

  • March 2 – Governor Parson participated on first weekly conference call with Vice President Pence and governors from other states
  • March 2 – Dr. Williams briefed House committee on COVID-19
  • March 3 – Dr. Williams briefed Missouri Cabinet members, external stakeholders, and SEMA officials
  • March 6 – Announcement of $9.9 million in federal emergency funding to support COVID-19 response efforts in Missouri
  • March 7 – First case in Missouri to test “presumptive positive” for COVID-19
  • Governor Parson held a press conference in St. Louis County with County Executive Sam Page and medical professionals
  • March 8 – The Missouri Veterans Commission announced restricted access to all visitors, vendors, and volunteers at its seven veterans homes until further notice
  • March 11 – DHSS set up a 24/7 hotline to take questions regarding COVID-19
  • March 12 – The Missouri Department of Corrections announced suspension of visitors at state correctional facilities for the next 30 days
  • March 13 – Governor Parson signed Executive Order 20-02 declaring a state of emergency in Missouri
  • Governor Parson held a press conference announcing the Executive Order
  • March 15 – Governor Parson released a statement regarding CDC guidelines on mass gatherings larger than 50 people
  • March 16 – Governor Parson held first daily press briefing to give updates regarding COVID-19 in Missouri
  • March 17 – Governor Parson announced that Missouri casinos will be closed through March 30 in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19
  • March 18 – Governor Parson signed Executive Order 20-03 ordering all municipal elections previously scheduled for April 7 to be postponed until June 2
  • March 18 – Governor Parson directed the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency and the Missouri Department of Economic Development to seek assistance for Missouri businesses through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan program
  • March 18 – First Missouri COVID-19 death reported in Boone County
  • March 18 – Governor Parson signed Executive Order 20-04 invoking emergency powers to authorize executive agencies to waive or suspend certain regulations and statutes that interfere with Missouri’s response to the spread of COVID-19
  • March 19 – All 555 of Missouri’s public school districts and charter schools reported closure
  • March 21 – SBA approved Missouri’s request for assistance through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program
  • March 21 – Governor Parson directed DHSS Director Dr. Williams to require social distancing statewide
  • March 23 – Governor Parson signed Executive Order 20-05 allowing sale of unprepared foods by restaurants
  • March 25 – Governor Parson requested federal major disaster declaration for Missouri in response to COVID-19
  • March 26 – President Trump approved Governor Parson’s request for major disaster declaration to support Missouri’s COVID-19 response
  • March 27 – Governor Parson signed Executive Order 20-06 to begin mobilizing the Missouri National Guard to assist with COVID-19 response
  • Directed DHSS Director to Prohibit Operation of Coin-Operated Amusement Devices or Machines and Slot Machines
  • State Parks closed campgrounds and lodging through April 30 (remain open for day-use)

Since Governor Parson’s signing of Executive Order 20-04 to ease regulatory burdens that interfere with the state’s COVID-19 response efforts, nearly 170 statutes and regulations have been waived or relaxed.

The state has also been rapidly working to procure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for hospitals, law enforcement, first responders, and other emergency service personnel.  Below is a summary of PPE in Missouri as of today.

The Strategic National Stockpile is for hospitals, EMS, and long-term care facilities.  The Missouri Strategic National Stockpile warehouse has shipped:

  • 42,624 face shields
  • 5,000 gloves
  • 2,717 cases of N-95, surgical, and sp blue masks (120-300 in a case depending on type)
  • 908 cases of surgical gowns (18-30 in a case depending on size)

PPE for first responders (including law enforcement and fire service agencies) has been purchased.  SEMA has ordered:

  • 6,606,550 surgical masks
  • 5,814,800 gloves
  • 4,325,480 N-95 masks
  • 900,112 face shields
  • 508,000 biohazard bags
  • 441,560 bottles of hand sanitizer
  • 214,038 containers of disinfecting wipes
  • 105,300 medical shoe covers
  • 74,396 safety goggles
  • 5,000 surgical gowns

“We know this is a challenging, uncertain time for our state and nation, but I want to assure you there is hope,” Governor Parson said. “I’m so proud of how Missourians have pulled together to help one another in the face of this challenge.”