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Missouri Gov. Mike Parson says state is ready to reopen on May 4

Parson said he will issue specific guidelines for businesses and events including restaurants, gyms, weddings, youth sports and religious services

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Gov. Mike Parson said the state will reopen gradually next month.

"We are moving forward with our plan to reopen the state on Monday, May 4," Parson said during his briefing Friday.

He also signed an executive order, which extends Missouri's state of emergency through June 15. He initially declared the state of emergency on March 13.

“I want to be clear that this is not an extension of the ‘Stay Home Missouri’ Order," Parson said. “Extending the emergency declaration simply allows us to continue utilizing our resources and deploying them around the state, even as we move into the recovery process. This also enables us to keep all of the waivers or suspensions of state statutes and regulations in place while we adjust to the reopening.”

He said his administration is working on guidelines that will be announced next week for the following:

  • Small and large businesses
  • Retail
  • Manufacturing
  • Restaurants
  • Barbershops and salons
  • Gyms
  • Religious services
  • Weddings and similar events
  • Youth summer sports
  • Any businesses that require people to be within six feet

He also said he's working with the state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to develop processes for graduation.

Parson said his guidelines will include recommendations on protective gear for certain businesses or employers, but that people don't necessarily need government regulations.

"The business will take it upon theirselves [sic] to make sure the customers feel safe. And, frankly, the customer's not going to go there if they don't feel safe," he said.

Parson said local leaders can make adjustments to the guidelines that fit their communities. 

"It’s going to come down to taking responsibility and doing the right thing to protect yourself and others around you," he said.

St. Louis and St. Louis County are under stay-at-home orders with no end dates, and those orders will take precedence. 

"We are watching this data every day, day-to-day, we are working with the pandemic task force," St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said at her news briefing Friday. "We really need for this to be a very gradual, progressive opening so that we can continue to test people. We can continue to contact trace."

Also joining Parson at the state's briefing were Department of Health and Senior Services Director Dr. Randall Williams and Department of Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten.

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