KANSAS CITY, Mo. — As states across the country move to restrict public movement to involve only the basics, a group of Missouri health leaders are asking that Governor Mike Parson follow suit in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
The Missouri Center for Public Health Excellence, which Kansas City Health Director Dr. Rex Archer is vice president of, sent Parson a letter on Friday that FOX4 obtained with a list of restriction requests, including that people only leave their homes for food, medical care, or to go to work.
As of Friday, California’s governor put similar restrictions in place, and Illinois is expected to order shelter in place effective Friday night.
The letter says that while many local governments have limited the size of gatherings and what businesses can be open to the public, the lack of a state order means that patients are traveling across the state for care and may be going to unprotected communities.
Missouri has urged capping gatherings at 50 people, closed casinos, and most schools are voluntarily out through at least April 3.
The center wants to close all retail businesses except those that sell groceries, fill prescriptions, and sell gas. They want schools to be closed indefinitely and say that likely means through the end of the current semester.
They want the state to do everything it can to support first responders, healthcare workers and public health workers, including help with childcare, testing and respite care, which is temporary relief for primary caregivers.
Instead of capping gatherings at 50 people, the center wants it capped at 10 or less excluding government functions. Normal household occupancy is also excluded. They also want to close nursing homes, assisted living facilities and hospitals to visitors, and ask that staff get checked for symptoms and have their temperatures taken.
The center says it’s making these requests to protect citizens and the integrity of Missouri.
FOX4 has a reporter in Jefferson City on Friday who will ask Parson about these requests; you can watch that news conference live on FOX4 over the air and online.
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