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Gov. Parson gives coronavirus briefing as protesters gather to 'reopen Missouri'

Groups of protesters gathered in front of the capitol building Tuesday
Credit: KSDK / AP Images

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said his administration is moving forward to reopen the state for business, but said it will be gradual.

During his daily coronavirus briefing, Parson said his administration is working on guidelines for counties to follow after the state's stay-at-home order ends, which is scheduled for May 3.

"I think we're a long way from people leaving their homes and going out into crowded areas," Parson said.

Parson said he has been consulting with local officials as well as representatives from the restaurant and manufacturing industries, along with other stakeholders.

To date, 221 people have died and there are been 6,001 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Missouri.

Groups of protesters gathered in front of the capitol building for a "Reopen Missouri" rally Tuesday. 

"That's fine they're out there protesting," Parson said. "They have every right to be out there. We announced last week that we're going to open up the state and we'll continue on that plan."

Health officials cautioned the protesters should be "responsible" and practice social distancing during the rallies.

Joining Parson at the briefing were Department of Health and Senior Services Director Dr. Randall Williams, Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten and Joe Driscoll, a Missouri Military Advocate with the Department of Economic Development.

Parson said he will hold another in-person media briefing on Thursday. His daily coronavirus briefings are usually done via Facebook live.

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