Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Missouri, US, extend existing social distancing orders through June 15, due to COVID-19 activity.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Kansas City, Missouri
  • St Louis, Missouri
  • Cape Girardeau, Missouri
  • Springfield, Missouri
  • Columbia-Jefferson City, Missouri
  • Joplin, Missouri
  • Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri
  • Poplar Bluff, Missouri

This alert began 30 May 2020 11:30 GMT and is scheduled to expire 15 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Missouri (map)
  • Time/Date: Indefinite
  • Impact: Travel, transport, and business disruptions

Missouri Governor Michael Parson extended the state's existing social distancing orders in response to coronavirus disease (COVID-19), through at least June 15. The measure was due to expire May 31, and will continue mostly unchanged. Residents are still encouraged to stay home to the extent possible and previously authorized businesses must continue to comply with social distancing mandates. Certain businesses will be required to implement additional measures intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19, such as performing temperature checks, enhancing sanitation procedures, maximizing physical distance between workers, monitoring employees for symptoms, and minimizing business travel, among other things.

Retail establishments with less than 930 square meters (10,000 square feet) of floor space must limit the number of patrons allowed inside at any given time to 25 percent of the facility's capacity. Retail establishments with 930 square meters (10,000 square feet) or greater floor space must limit the number of patrons to 10 percent of the facility's capacity. Restaurants may provide dine-in services provided they maintain proper distance between customers, limit tables to a maximum of 10 people, and close communal seating areas. In-person lessons at public schools are canceled for the remainder of the academic year.

Local authorities may impose stricter restrictions if they consider it is necessary to protect the public health. Although this phase of reopening began statewide May 4, authorities in Kansas City only initiated reopening of most nonessential businesses, albeit with limitations, May 15, while officials in the city of Saint Louis and Saint Louis County began relaxing restrictions May 18 and continue to maintain a 10-person limit on gatherings. Relaxed measures could be reversed at short notice.

Significant transport and business disruptions are likely to persist. Authorities will keep additional security personnel deployed to assist in enforcing the remaining measures. Officials could amend the orders at short notice.

Background and Analysis
The relaxation of some measures may accelerate in the coming weeks; however, restrictions may be reimposed or extended further should the number of COVID-19 cases increase. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

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