JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Mike Parson outlined a new statewide social distancing order on Saturday, March 21. The order takes effect at 12:01 a.m., Monday, March 23, and lasts until 12:01 a.m. April 6.

The order requires:

  • Every person in the state shall avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people. Social gatherings: any planned or spontaneous event that would bring more than 10 people together at the same time.
  • Every person shall avoid eating or drinking at restaurants, bars or food courts. Drive thru, pickup or delivery is allowed.
  • People shall not visit nursing homes, long-term care, retirement homes or assistant living homes unless to provide critical conditions.
  • All schools shall remain closed. This order does not prohibit schools from providing child care and Food and Nutritional Services for those children that qualify. Teachers and staff may enter the building as long as they follow the directives set forth in this order.

“As the COVID-19 crisis continues to develop, this is a critical step in protecting the health and safety of Missourians,” Parson said. “I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for all citizens to practice social distancing and abide by this order, which is backed by intense deliberation and knowledge.”

He and other officials also announced provisions to help families impacted by COVID-19. The state is raising limitations on the total number of children per child care provider at daycare facilities. 14-day licensing will also be available.

This order does not prohibit people from visiting a variety of places, including grocery stores, gas stations, parks and banks, so long as necessary precautions are taken and maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, including maintaining at least six feet of distance between all individuals that are not family members.

For offices and workplaces that remain open, individuals shall practice good hygiene and, where feasible, work from home in order to achieve optimum isolation from COVID-19.

Mason stated local public health authorities are hereby directed to carry out and enforce the provisions of this order by means of civil proceedings.

Sandy Karsten, director of Missouri's Department of Public Safety, said the state is using it's stockpile of personal protective gear for hospitals. She said the department is prepared to provide the gear to hospitals and first responders as needed.

"It's just a moving target, every day," Parson said.

The Missouri Department of Revenue also extended the tax deadline to July 15. License plates and driver's license expiration dates are also extended by two months. Drivers with an expired plate or license will not face any penalty.

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