‘Stay home, Missourians’: Parson issues statewide stay-at-home order


Gov. Mike Parson, above, hosted the largest crowd in his office so far to see him sign a bill renaming Lindbergh for the late Rep. Cloria Brown.

Missouri Gov, Mike Parson issued a statewide stay-at-home order Friday, but he’s leaving the details of what business are essential and non-essential to local governments.

The directive came weeks after local Missouri officials like St. Louis County Executive Sam Page and St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson issued stay-at-home orders. Parson had resisted calls for a statewide order to match 38 other states in the country because he said that individuals and local jurisdictions should be able to decide for themselves what are essential and non-essential businesses that can stay open. 

The statewide “Stay Home Missouri” order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday, April 6. It will stay in effect until 11:59 p.m. Friday, April 24.

When the order goes into effect, only businesses deemed essential such as grocery stores, pharmacies and auto repair are typically allowed to stay open, as in St. Louis County. But the statewide order will vary by jurisdiction. The Missouri Press Association has asked the state to include newspapers and media as essential businesses in any stay-at-home order.

Before the announcement, Parson had faced growing criticism among some circles for not issuing a statewide order. Adding fuel to that fire, a study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation from the University of Washington that examined governors’ actions nationwide said that Parson was one of four governors in the country who have done the least to combat the coronavirus. Parson, who took office after former Gov. Eric Greitens resigned, is a Republican who faces an election campaign this fall against state Auditor Nicole Galloway, a Democrat.

As of Friday, Missouri has 2,113 positive COVID-19 cases out of 24,727 tested in Missouri’s population of 6 million. The 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 the St. Louis region

Also as of Friday, Missouri has 19 COVID-19 related deaths. Based on the state’s current data, Missouri’s death rate is still below 1 percent. 

But state officials have been so worried about overcrowding at hospitals statewide that the National Guard has scoped out alternative locations like The Dome at America’s Center stadium in St. Louis or the Adam’s Mark Hotel in Kansas City.

The order “explicitly states that individuals currently residing within the state of Missouri shall avoid leaving their homes or places of residence unless necessary,” and is meant to build “on Missouri’s efforts to control, contain, and combat COVID-19,” the governor’s office said in a statement.

“First and foremost, I want everyone to know that I love this state and the people of this state,” Parson said in a news release. “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:
    • 25 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;
    • 10 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 by the order.

“The order shall be observed throughout the state and enforced by all local and state health authorities,” the governor’s office said. “Local public health authorities are directed to carry out and enforce the provisions of the order by any legal means.”

With a growing number of coronavirus cases, Parson said it’s a time for Missourians to make sacrifices.

“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.”

To view the full “Stay Home Missouri” order, see below. For more information and resources regarding COVID-19, visit The Call’s section on coronavirus, the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus and the DHSS website at www.health.mo.gov/coronavirus.

Stay at Home Missouri Order