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Missouri 'state of emergency' over COVID-19 extended into 2021

Gov. Parson said he is doing everything he can to fight the virus while protecting the economy, school kids and the freedoms of Missourians.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri’s state of emergency due to the COVID-19 pandemic will continue into next spring, Governor Mike Parson announced Thursday morning.

The governor extended the order through March 31, 2021. He first declared the state of emergency on March 13, which came six days after the state’s first confirmed coronavirus case.

The state of emergency allows the state to waive or suspend hundreds of statutes and regulations. This makes it easier for the state to respond to the quickly changing scenarios the pandemic continues to bring.

“It will also allow continued flexibility in utilizing and deploying resources around the state where they are most appropriate,” state officials said in a news release earlier this year about the state of emergency.

Gov. Parson on Thursday said he will do everything he can to fight the virus while protecting the economy, school kids and the freedoms of Missourians.

He again stressed he will not enact a statewide face mask mandate.

“I have been very clear on that from the beginning and that hasn’t changed,” Parson reiterated, saying he still believes in local control of mandates of that nature.

READ ALSO: Missouri changes school quarantine guidance as long as masks are worn

The governor also said he won’t be making any mandates or issuing any orders over how Missourians celebrate the holidays and how many people they welcome into their homes.

“I’m not going to mandate who goes in the front door of your home,” he said.

As of Thursday morning, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is reporting a total of 257,822 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 3,507 deaths. Over the past week, the state is averaging 3,908 new cases a day. Missouri’s seven-day positivity rate is 23.7%.