Today, from Governor Mike Parson (r):
Jefferson City – During today’s COVID-19 briefing, Governor Mike Parson announced the first phase of the “Show Me Strong Recovery” Plan outlining how Missouri will gradually begin to reopen economic and social activity on Monday, May 4, 2020.
Governor Parson was joined by Missouri Hospital Association President and CEO Herb Kuhn, MO HealthNet Director Todd Richardson, Missouri Department of Economic Development Director Rob Dixon, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Director Dr. Randall Williams, and Missouri Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten.
“With favorable data and approval from state health officials, we are ready to take another step forward in the recovery of Missouri,” Governor Parson said. “Today, I am announcing phase one of our ‘Show Me Strong Recovery’ Plan, which will begin Monday, May 4 and extend through Sunday, May 31.”
Resting on four essential pillars, the “Show Me Strong Recovery” Plan is intended to protect those most at risk of exposure to COVID-19 while returning Missouri to a new normal:
Expand testing capacity and volume in the state
Expand reserves of PPE by opening public and private supply chains
Continue to monitor and, if necessary, expand hospital and health care system capacity, including isolation and alternate care facilities for those that cannot self-quarantine at home
Improve ability to predict potential outbreaks using Missouri’s public health data
This framework will allow the state to work through a gradual reopening, leading to broader economic recovery.
During phase one of the plan, citizens may begin returning to economic and social activities but must adhere to social distancing requirements, including maintaining six feet of space between individuals in most cases. There are currently no limitations on social gatherings as long as necessary precautions are taken and six feet of distance can be maintained between individuals and/or families.
Additionally, all businesses can be open provided that the social distancing guidelines set forth in the new health order are followed. Some businesses will be required to take additional precautions to protect their employees and the public, such as occupancy limits at retail locations.
“All of Missouri’s businesses, employers, and employees are vital to our state’s economy and well-being,” Governor Parson said. “Opening these businesses is going to look very different for awhile, but I’m confident Missourians will abide by the guidelines as we move forward.”
This will be a deliberate and data-driven process that allows for flexibility based on changing situations.
Some communities may be able to reopen at a faster rate than others. Local officials will have the authority to put further rules, regulations, or ordinances in place so long as they are not inconsistent with the statewide order.
Even as Missouri gradually reopens, citizens are encouraged to continue taking precautions to protect themselves and others:
Stay home if sick
Wash hands often with soap and water or use hand sanitizer
Avoid touching your face
Sneeze or cough into a tissue or the inside of elbow
Disinfect frequently used items and surfaces
Avoid socializing in groups that do not readily allow for appropriate social distancing
Minimize travel to the extent possible
Additionally, all businesses are encouraged to do the following:
Implement basic infection prevention measures informed by industry best practices
Modify physical workspaces to maximize social distancing
Minimize business travel
Develop an infectious disease preparedness and response plan
Do not allow symptomatic people to physically return to work until cleared by a medical provider
Encourage telework whenever possible and feasible with business operations
Return to work in phases and/or split shifts
Limit access to common areas where personnel are likely to congregate and interact
Ensure that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance
“As we begin to reopen, we will be prepared, but the virus is still here. Protect yourself and the people you love. Take care of each other,” Governor Parson said. “Together, we will defeat COVID-19. Together, the state of Missouri will come back stronger than ever before.”
Favorable data? There are over six million people in Missouri. To date Missouri DHSS reports that only 73,371 people have been tested. That’s 1.19% of the population. Do you like those odds?
Revised, from a social media comment:
Does anyone really believe that there’s any real will to enact meaningful protocols which will enable safe and effective mitigation in public and private spaces while maintaining business as usual? A Level 4 biohazard suit, anyone?
I don’t buy lottery tickets, nor do I bet with the bookies. I know it’s my lot in life to contribute to someone else’s winnings (Math!). I’m not going to gamble with my life.
It ain’t over ’til it’s over.
That means there must either be 1) a safe, effective drug treatment, or 2) a safe, effective vaccine. The latter will be twelve to eighteen months. Get used to that.
Advocating that we “open up” before either of the above just means, as a society, we’re willing to sacrifice the elderly, the vulnerable, the sick, the poor, and anyone unfortunate enough to encounter an anti-shutdown protesting moron in public.
Putting people at risk (Science! Math!) because a few are impatient for some semblance of “normalcy” threatens the continued existence of everything for everyone else. For the economy? Dead people don’t buy things. Actually, the real reason for this rush to open is because we really don’t value people. However, if it’s for a profit margin it is another matter. “It cost too much” will be engraved on our headstones.
Bringing people together in physical proximity, no matter how “protected” they are, is insanity under any rational understanding of our present circumstances.
If you believe otherwise, I suggest you volunteer to work in a hospital (yes, with all the gear) right now. Let’s see if you’re willing to gamble it all.
You first, Governor Parson (r).
Meanwhile, we can all call the the Governor’s Mansion to book a tour after May 3rd.