By Clay Coleman
JEFFERSON CITY—Last Thursday, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson extended the first phase of his “Show Me Strong Recovery” plan, a policy designed to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Missouri communities, from May 31 to June 15.
“We are extending phase one, not because Missouri has taken steps back,” said Parson during a news conference, “but because we want to continue the progress we’ve made and make sure we are fully prepared for phase two.”
The “Show Me Strong Recovery” plan, designed to protect those most at risk for contracting COVID-19, and to help the state economically devastated by the pandemic, rests upon four pillars for a successful recovery: Expanded testing, an increase in the state’s reserves of personal protective equipment, monitor and expand hospital capacity within the state, and improve the ability to predict future outbreaks.
During phase one of Parson’s plan, citizens can return to social and economic activities, while continuing to adhere to social distancing requirements like maintaining 6 feet of separation between individuals and using PPE like face masks. Additionally, all businesses can open provided that social distancing and occupancy limits are followed.
Missouri has been struck hard by the coronavirus pandemic since testing began back in March. By press time, 13,327 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the state, with 773 deaths. Currently, 693 Missourians remain hospitalized.
Audrain County, which reported one case of COVID-19 when phase one began, currently has 85 residents who have tested positive for the virus and announced the first COVID-19 related death on Monday.
“Businesses, communities, and Missourians across the state have done a great job of implementing health and safety measures, and we continue to be encouraged by data across the state,” said Parson. “I want to assure you that our efforts are showing positive results, and we are still in a good place with all four of our recovery pillars.”