March 19, 2020 6:22 p.m.
(JEFFERSON CITY, MO) – As the new coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis continues, Governor Mike Parson and his administration are working each day to respond and protect the health and well-being of Missourians.
“My administration and I are working each and every day to combat COVID-19 and respond accordingly,” Governor Parson said. “We are all in this together, and I challenge all Missourians to do their part by exercising social distancing at every opportunity.”
STRONG ACTION TO SUPPORT MISSOURI’S ECONOMY
Governor Mike Parson directed the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency and the Missouri Department of Economic Development to seek assistance for Missouri businesses through the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
- Yesterday, Governor Parson answered the call of Missouri businesses concerned about their long-term viability.
- The SBA will offer targeted, low-interest disaster recovery loans for Missouri small businesses that have been severely impacted by economic disruptions related to COVID-19.
- Immediately after this action, Missouri’s entire Congressional Delegation wrote, in bi-partisan unity, a letter supporting Governor Parson’s directive to the SBA. The Governor’s Office anticipates a prompt response in the next week.
- The Missouri Department of Economic Development (DED) is a leader in teleworking – nearly all employees starting tomorrow will have the ability to work from home.
- DED is also exploring creative ways to contribute to Missouri’s response to COVID-19 such as repurposing Community Development Block Grant funds, for example.
STRONG LEADERSHIP TO SUPPORT MISSOURI CITIZENS
With the signing of Executive Order 20-04, Missouri state departments have increased latitude to ease administrative rules and regulations during this state of emergency.
- Yesterday, Governor Parson provided much needed flexibility for state resources to be more efficiently allocated.
- These are tangible and necessary steps the state is taking to ease any regulatory burdens that interfere with Missouri’s ability to respond to COVID-19.
- In concert with the Governor’s Office, this Executive Order allows all agencies to request a waiver or suspension of their regulations in an expedited process to further help provide immediate health and safety relief.
- Specific departments include the following:
- Department of Health and Senior Services
- Department of Public Safety
- Department of Social Services
- Department of Commerce and Insurance, the Division of Professional Registration, and its boards
- Department of Labor and Industrial Relations
- Office of Administration
- Specific regulatory relief includes the following:
- Expanding the use of telemedicine and pharmacology in order to protect doctors and decrease the risk of exposure to both healthcare providers and patients.
- Mirroring federal action to grant flexibility and enhance capacity for drivers of commercial motor vehicles, allowing the immediate transportation of essential supplies, equipment, and persons.
- To ensure the teacher workforce shortage is not exacerbated by COVID-19, teacher certification provisions with regard to qualifying scores on exit examinations and culminating clinical experience in terms of semester hours, weeks, and number of placements were addressed.
CALL TO ACTION: WHAT MISSOURI CITIZENS CAN CONTRIBUTE TO COMBAT COVID-19
As Governor Parson and his administration continue to respond to the virus and combat the spread, many citizens from across the state have asked what they can do to help.
- Exercise common sense: If you feel sick, stay home. Do not go to work. If someone in your household has tested positive for COVID-19, keep the entire household at home. Do not go to work.
- Take extra precautions: If you are an older person, stay home and away from other people. If you are a person with a serious underlying health condition that can put you at increased risk (for example, a condition that impairs your lung or heart function or weakens your immune system), stay home and away from other people.
- Protect yourself and others: Avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people. Avoid discretionary travel, shopping trips, and social visits. Do not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance. Practice good hygiene.
- Many restaurants and bars are offering drive-thru, pickup, and delivery options – continue to support these community establishments.