(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.) Governor Mike Parson on Saturday issued a statewide social distancing order.
The mandate mirrors guidelines already recommended by the CDC to avoid gatherings of 10 or more people.
"I cannot emphasize how important it is for Missourians to practice social distancing," Gov. Parson said in announcing the new restrictions. "If you don't have to get out, stay home."
Starting at 12:01 a.m.Monday, Missouri residents must avoid social gatherings of more than ten people and avoid eating or drinking at restaurants, bars, or food courts. Restaurants can still offer drive-thru, pickup, or delivery.
Visits to nursing homes, long-term care facilities, retirement homes, or assisted living homes unless to provide critical assistance, is also prohibited.
Schools are also ordered to remain closed but it does not prohibit schools from providing child care and Food and Nutritional Services for those children that qualify.
The order does not prohibit people from going to grocery stores, gas stations, parks, and banks, as long as necessary precautions are taken and maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, including maintaining at least six feet of distance between all individuals that are not family members.
Businesses can remain open but employees should practice good hygiene and, if possible, work from home.
The order will remain in effect until 12:01 a.m. Monday, April 6. Parson said the sooner COVID-19 will be contained, the sooner this order will expire.
“This is a serious time for our state and nation, and we must continue taking all steps necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19,” Governor Parson said. “The more people reduce their public contact, the sooner the virus will be contained and the sooner we can overcome this challenge.”