Missouri reopens while COVID-19 numbers increase

Saturday, June 20, 2020

With weekly COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) testing in Missouri increasing more than 220 percent from approximately 16,000 test encounters the week of April 20 to over 53,000 encounters the week of May 25, the state of Missouri fully reopened on Tuesday and entered Phase 2 of the Recovery Plan. Over the past two weeks, the state has averaged more than 10,000 tests per weekday.

Missouri continues to receive and distribute Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) across the state. The state recently reached a record PPE shipment, expanding to include not only hospitals, health care facilities, and EMS but also dental offices as more are reopening across the state. This shipment included the following:

17,230 gowns

42,720 N95 masks

262,000 gloves

77,100 surgical masks

18,432 face shields

On Monday, June 15, prior to the full reopening, the number of COVID-19 cases statewide had reached 15,810, with 879 deaths. As of Friday, June 19, the number of positive cases had increased since Monday by 1,402 and the deaths increased by 69 for a total of 17,212 total positive cases and 948 deaths statewide.

In Phase 2, there is no statewide public health order Missouri is fully open for business. Local officials still have the ability, however, to put further measures or regulations in place, but from a statewide stance, all restrictions are lifted.

Businesses, residents, and visitors are still encouraged to practice the following guidelines as part of the Show-Me Strong Recovery.

General Guidelines for Missourians

Citizens who feel sick should stay home.

Continue to practice good hygiene, including: Washing hands with soap and water, or using hand sanitizer, especially after touching frequently used items or surfaces; avoiding touching your face; sneezing or coughing into a tissue, or the inside of your elbow; and disinfecting frequently used items and surfaces as much as possible.

Avoid socializing in groups that do not readily allow for appropriate physical distancing. When in public (parks, outdoor recreation spaces, shopping malls, etc.), individuals should maximize physical distance from others.

General Guidelines for Business

Prepare to implement basic infection prevention measures informed by industry best practices, regarding: Protective equipment; temperature checks; testing, isolating, and contact tracing; and sanitation, including disinfection of common and high-traffic areas (entrances, breakrooms, locations where there is high-frequency employee interaction with the public/customers).

Modify physical workspaces to maximize social distancing.

Develop an infectious disease preparedness and response plan, including policies and procedures for workforce contact tracing when an employee tests positive for COVID-19.

Monitor workforce for indicative symptoms. Do not allow symptomatic people to physically return to work until cleared by a medical provider.

Develop, implement, and communicate about workplace flexibilities and protections, including: Encouraging telework whenever possible and feasible with business operations; returning to work in phases and/or split shifts, if possible; limiting access to common areas where personnel are likely to congregate and interact; and ensuring that sick leave policies are flexible and consistent with public health guidance.

General Guidelines for Communities

Closely monitor and track the containment, spread, and any resurgence of COVID-19, and adjust plans as necessary.

Limit situations where citizens cannot maintain social distancing.

Facilitate widespread testing of symptomatic and asymptomatic citizens.

Work to protect the most vulnerable populations.