Parson says state is prepared to open on May 4
JEFFERSON CITY - Phase 1 of Missouri's "Show Me Strong Recovery" plan takes effect on Monday, May 4, and today, Governor Mike Parson said the state is ready to reopen.
On Friday at his daily media briefing, Parson said the state is prepared with its recovery plan for the reopen, highlighting the four essential pillars in the recovery plan: expand testing capacity, expand PPE reserves, expand hospital capacity and predict potential outbreaks.
In all, we have ordered almost $40 million worth of PPE and have already shipped almost 2 million pieces of PPE to our local partners, including almost 300,000 N95 respirator masks, 450,000 face shields, and 200,000 surgical masks.— Governor Mike Parson (@GovParsonMO) May 1, 2020
Parson said that the number of news positive cases in Missouri have decreased, but even though numbers are going down, Missourian's need to take it slowly to reopen safely.
As Monday approaches, I know many people are excited, but I want to remind everyone that this is not the flip of a switch.— Governor Mike Parson (@GovParsonMO) May 1, 2020
Coronavirus is not gone, and we MUST continue to be proactive and maintain social distancing to protect not only ourselves, but everyone around us. pic.twitter.com/oHUpnIQL0z
Parson said in reopening the state, people should continue to follow social distancing guidelines in public.
With the "Show Me Strong Recovery" plan, major office buildings, or buildings with over 300 staff members, across the state will reopen Monday.
"Each department will be responsible for deciding which offices to open based on their unique circumstances," Parson said in a news release.
As of Friday, nearly 15,000 state employees were working remotely. That is about 40% of the state workforce. Also as of Friday, about 4,000 state employees would not be able to return to work, are on administrative leave or unable to work for other reasons.
When state offices reopen Monday, social distancing guidelines will be enforced. The Missouri National Guard will also screen employees and the public when entering the buildings.
Also in the daily briefing on Friday, Chris Chinn, the Director of the Department of Agriculture addressed market disruptions in the food supply across Missouri, specifically the importance of protein processing plants in Missouri.
Chinn said the Department of Agriculture will focus on safe practices in protein processing facilities.