JEFFERSON CITY, MO—Building on Missouri’s efforts to control, contain, and combat COVID-19, Gov. Mike Parson issued a statewide “Stay Home Missouri” order effective starting Monday, April 6, 2020, until Friday, April 24, 2020.
The Order explicitly states that individuals currently residing within the state of Missouri shall avoid leaving their homes or places of residence unless necessary.
“First and foremost, I want everyone to know that I love this state and the people of this state,” Parson said. “The people of this great state clearly define who we are in Missouri, and as governor, I have no greater responsibility than to protect the health, well-being, and safety of all Missourians.”
In order to protect public health and prevent the further spread of COVID-19, Parson’s order includes specific guidance for staying home, social distancing, businesses and employees, schools, restaurants, firearm sales, and state government buildings.
Among other guidelines, the Order requires the following:
Individuals currently residing within the state of Missouri shall avoid leaving their homes or places of residence.
All individuals in the state of Missouri shall avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people.
All public and charter schools must remain closed for the duration of the order.
Any entity that does not employ individuals to perform essential worker functions, as set forth in guidance provided by the federal government, shall adhere to the limitations on social gatherings and social distancing.
Any entity that employs individuals to perform essential worker functions, and that is engaged in retail sales to the public, shall limit the number of individuals in any particular retail location as follows:
Twenty-five percent or less of the entity’s authorized fire or building code occupancy, as set by local authorities, for a retail location with square footage of less than 10,000 square feet;
Ten percent or less of the entity’s authorized fire or building code occupancy, as set by local authorities, for a retail location with square footage of 10,000 square feet or more.
The order does not prohibit Missourians from accessing essential services, such as grocery stores, gas stations, and banks, or engaging in outdoor recreation, provided that necessary precautions are taken and maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, including observing the social gathering and social distancing requirements set forth in the order.
The Order shall be observed throughout the state and enforced by all local and state health authorities. Local public health authorities are directed to carry out and enforce the provisions of the Order by any legal means.
“There comes a time when we have to make major sacrifices in our lives. Many of us make sacrifices each and every day, but now more than ever, we must all make sacrifices,” Parson said. “This is not about any one individual person. This is about our families, friends, neighbors, and the entire state of Missouri. For the sake of all Missourians, be smart, be responsible, and stay home, Missourians.”
As of today, Missouri has 2,113 positive COVID-19 cases out of 24,727 tested in a total population of 6 million Missourians. This data shows that 8.5 percent of those tested have been positive.
Of the 8.5 percent of Missouri citizens who have tested positive, approximately 22 percent have required hospitalization. This means the remaining 78 percent are recovering at home or have already recovered.
Missouri has at least one positive case in 76 of Missouri’s 114 counties. Over half of the total positive cases are in St. Louis region.
Also as of today, Missouri has 19 COVID-19 related deaths. Based on the state’s current data, Missouri’s death rate is still below one percent.
For more information and resources regarding COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus and the DHSS website at Any other night: Power outage shuts down part of the city
By Clay Coleman
Have you noticed that scented candles are at a premium nowadays? During times of peace, high stock markets, or just being allowed to walk outside, go to any store, and scented candles are all over the place. During a pandemic—I counted six. Tucked away in a corner with scents like apple, orange, and coconut, I threw the abandoned palm-size bottles in my cart, looked both ways, and hauled ass.
Part 1: Smoke Gets in Your Eyes
Two days before deadline is a special time in the journalism community. If you’re a particularly good writer, or a dedicated reporter with years of experience covering a beat, the party continues. But if you’re like me, half a year in and struggling to find your style, two days before deadline is the day after the party when you better be sitting in front of a computer, writing. Under normal circumstances, the process is kind of easy—you collect up your stories—then start writing your outlines. But have the power go out during a pandemic, and it becomes a different story entirely.
I can hear her in the dark opening drawers, as I walk over to the window. She tells me a tree had taken out some utility poles earlier in the day, shutting down power for most of the city. I tell her they didn’t fix it, as I stare at the blue lights flashing from the utility truck racing down the street. I had stories to write, or at least decide what will make the cut for the next issue, and tonight was not the night to go without power. I hear glass clinking as she spreads out the candles on the kitchen table—the same ones that I bought earlier. Lighting them, she places the candles throughout the house, as I take two over to my laptop and start to write.
The types of stories have been changing since the coronavirus first came to our shores. Though we can never remind the public enough about hand-washing and social distancing, the virus has just about canceled every event worth writing about. Schools have closed, sports have gone away, city council meetings are now online, almost everything a small-town newspaper relies upon to generate interest has been suspended while we wait. One would think with so little news happening, the stories that are out there would be easier to capture. Well, I was figuring all that out when I noticed the laptop screen starting to get blurry.
I have been suffering from a headache ever since the power went out earlier. Chalking that up to late-night writing, I continue to pound away at the keyboard until I notice a very distinct smell in the room. Smelling like a bear putting on suntan lotion in a spring meadow, I stare past my computer and see smoke from the coconut candle, mixing with smoke from the blossom candle. Fumbling my way into the kitchen, I look down and see her passed out from the fumes of an apple orchard that’s on fire. The only plant that doesn’t seem to be on fire in this orchard is the cactus rose, which I can faintly detect as I scoop her up and throw open a window. After reviving her, we douse the candles and decide to call it a night.
The next morning, I call City Administrator Darren Berry and get the scoop. It seems a tree had fallen earlier in the day and knocked down two utility poles. After the city fixed the damage, they reengaged the breaker, and sparks started shooting out of the turbine. Berry told me that the city had to borrow a portable turbine from Central Electric out of Jefferson City. When asked how long before the damage would be fixed and everything goes back to normal, Berry gave a verbal shrug and said I better get more candles just in case.