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Missouri Gov. Mike Parson Extends Statewide Stay-At-Home Order To May 3

Lisa Rodriguez
KCUR 89.3 file photo
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson extended the statewide stay-at-home order Thursday.

Missouri's governor said he will look at metrics like testing availability and hospital capacity to decide how to ease restrictions.

Missouri will remain under a statewide stay-at-home order until May 3 to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, according to an announcement by Gov. Mike Parson Thursday.

The order, set to expire April 24, allowed counties and cities to set tougher standards. The state directive is more relaxed than some other states. Missouri allowed nonessential businesses toremain open as long as the social gathering and social distance requirements were followed.

“We are seeing very early signs in the data that lead us to be cautiously optimistic that we are beginning to slow the course of the infection and see improvements across Missouri, even in our hardest-hit areas like St. Louis and Kansas City,” Parson said during a virtual press briefing Thursday.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas has imposed tougher standards and extended the city’s stay-at-home order to May 15.

Parson also laid out data he will look at when deciding how to relax restrictions. This includes increasing testing capacity, expanding the reserve of personal protective equipment, monitoring hospital system capacity and improving the ability to predict potential outbreaks.

As of Thursday, Missouri has 5,111 COVID-19 cases and 152 deaths. Researchers at the University of Washington predict peak hospital resources to occur on April 28.

The statewide directive went into effect at the start of last week, after Parson faced mounting pressure from business and health care groups for action.

A group of seven Midwestern states, including Illinois, announced a coordinated effort to reopen the regional economy.

Parson said he was "not aware" of any outreach by the seven states asking Missouri to join the partnership.

"At the of the day, I got to do what's right for Missouri," Parson said. "So joining some group to say 'hey let's all do this the same way,' it's a little different for Missouri because of the diversity when you got St. Louis and Kansas City, two huge metropolitan areas, and rural Missouri all over the state."

Aviva Okeson-Haberman is the Missouri government and politics reporter at KCUR 89.3. Follow her on Twitter: @avivaokeson.

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