Mo. Governor discusses state park reopening and unemployment claims

2 months 1 week 3 days ago Wednesday, April 29 2020 Apr 29, 2020 Wednesday, April 29, 2020 3:49:00 PM CDT April 29, 2020 in News
By: Maggie Madro, KOMU 8 Digital Producer

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Governor Mike Parson and other officials addressed state parks, unemployment claims and mental health in his daily press briefing on Wednesday.

Carol S. Comer, Director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, spoke about different precautions they are taking as the state reopens. Comer said during the first phase of reopening, some lodging, dining, marinas and retail stores will reopen. This phase will be between May 4 and May 15. 

Elephant Rocks, Castlewood, Watkins Woolen Mill and Weston Bend will all reopen on May 11. These state parks had previously been closed due to overcrowding making social distancing difficult. 

Comer also said on May 18 that some off-road riding will reopen at St. Joe State Park.

However, park campgrounds, cabin lodging, enclosed shelters and visitors centers will remain closed and the department will discuss reopening them again on May 18. 

Anna Hui, Missouri Department of Labor Director, said they have processed over 400,000 unemployment claims during the pandemic. She said some weeks they have processed over 100,000 claims compared to the 3,000 weekly claims they usually have this time of year. 

Mark Stringer, Missouri Department of Mental Health Director, encouraged anyone that is struggling to call the Missouri distress health or mental health line, which is free and open to the public. 

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