JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Governor Mike Parson has announced a statewide “stay-at-home” order in a news conference on April 3.
“This power is something I think should be rare for government to ever take advantage of,” Parson said.
The order comes as a major reversal from his previous stance. Parson had resisted a state order, despite pressure from lawmakers and activist, in favor of letting local municipalities decide.
The order begins on Monday, April 6 and will go through Friday, April 24, Parson said.
“Now more than ever, we must all make sacrifices,” Parson said. “Our actions today will now determine our future… Stay at home, Missouri.”
The majority of Missouri residents were already living under stay-at-home orders issued by local leaders, including most of the St. Louis and Kansas City areas, Springfield, Columbia and many other places.
Parts of the Kansas City metro first announced a stay-at-home order on March 21, the same day as St. Louis. Gov. Laura Kelly followed suit on March 28 and signed the order. Kansas becoming the 23rd state to do so.
As of April 3 at 5 p.m., Missouri had 2,113 positive tests, more than half of those cases in St. Louis alone, according to an interactive map updated by the state. The number of infections has increased more than eight-fold in the past 10 days.
The total number is more than triple the number of positive tests out of Kansas, which was only 620. In contrast, Missouri’s population is only slightly more than double that of Kansas — about 2,900,000 to about 6,100,000.
Parson said more than 24,000 people have been tested in the state. The number of deaths in the state, 19, is below 1% of those that have tested positive.
More than 90% of the nation’s residents are now living under stay-at-home orders as part of efforts to ease the pandemic that has sickened more than 266,000 people in the U.S. and killed nearly 7,000.
Only a handful of states, mostly in the Midwest and South, have not issued one.