Stay Home Save Lives

The city of Festus announced on its website and social media Monday that it has restricted use of its parks to encourage people to stay home and help stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Gov. Mike Parson has issued a statewide stay-at-home order that takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Monday (April 6).

The order lasts until 11:59 p.m. Friday (April 24).

Parson issued the order Friday (April 3) in an effort “to control, contain, and combat COVID-19,” the governor’s office reported in a written statement.

After Parson's order, that left eight governors in the U.S. who had not issued statewide stay-at-home orders.

According to Parson's order, Missourians “shall avoid leaving their homes or places of residence unless necessary.”

The order also calls for people to avoid social gatherings of more than 10 people, and it calls for all public and charter schools to remain closed throughout the duration of the order.

In addition, businesses that do not employee “essential workers” must adhere to the limitations on gatherings and practice social distancing, keeping people at least 6 feet away from each other.

Health care workers, first responders and public works employees are among those considered essential. Some of the businesses considered essential include grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and banks. Restaurants also are included but may not allow indoor dining.

However, even retailers considered essential must limit the number of people gathered at one time in their stores and other buildings.

People may still engage in outdoor recreation, as long as they take precautions to maintain social distancing, according to the order.

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

“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 in the written statement. “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.”

As of Friday, Missouri had 2,113 positive cases of the coronavirus and 19 deaths related to the illness, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Parson’s office reported that 24,727 of the 6 million Missourians had been tested for the virus.

“Of the 8.5 percent of Missouri citizens who have tested positive, approximately 22 percent have required hospitalization,” the governor’s office reported. “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. “

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported Friday that the U.S. had 239,279 positive cases and a total of 5,443 deaths.

According to the World Health Organization and CDC numbers, the U.S. now leads the world in positive cases.

Anyone who shows coronavirus symptoms or who has questions should call the Missouri State Hotline at 877-435-8411 or the Mercy Clinical Support Line at 314-251-0500. For more information about COVID-19, go to jeffcohealth.org/coronavirus-covid19.

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