Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Missouri, US, extend orders requiring residents to stay home, nonessential businesses to close through at least May 3.

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 20 Apr 2020 14:45 GMT and is scheduled to expire 03 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-related restrictions
  • Location(s): Missouri (map)
  • Time/Date: Through at least May 3
  • Impact: Significant travel, transport, and business disruptions

Summary
Missouri Governor Michael Parson extended orders requiring residents to stay home, except to perform essential tasks, and nonessential businesses to remain closed through at least May 3 as part of the state's efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The orders, which were set to expire April 24, stipulate that residents may only leave their homes to obtain basic goods, attend to medical issues, care for a person in need, perform outdoor recreational activities while maintaining proper distance from others, and go to work at an essential business or service. Among the businesses that may remain open are grocery stores, pharmacies, banks, fuel stations, media organizations, as well as those related to food, transport, security, critical manufacturing, and government services.

Gatherings of ten people or more remain banned. Nonessential businesses can operate with employees working from home, while bars and restaurants can provide delivery and pickup services. In-person lessons at public schools will be canceled for the rest of the school year.

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

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by Missouri authorities are similar to actions adopted by other governments in the US and globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. 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.

Advice
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.

Resources
World Health Organisation (WHO): www.who.int

Missouri Stay-at-home Order: https://content.govdelivery.com

Missouri Stay-at-home Order Extension: https://governor.mo.gov