Last edited 12:09 p.m., April 6, 2020
Gov. Mike Parson's stay-at-home order Friday has caused some confusion to start the week. However, a Springfield official has some advice: Follow the city-county stay-at-home edict.
City of Springfield spokeswoman Cora Scott this morning said businesses have queried as to whether the state order takes the place of the city-county edict.
"It does not," Scott said via email. "The stricter city order still stands.
"The bottom line is that the businesses and activities that were considered essential and nonessential in the city order are still the same."
The city of Springfield and Greene County on March 24 issued the local order, through which officials are requiring residents to stay at home for 30 days except for essential activities, such as groceries. The order applies through April 24.
Parson followed up with a statewide order late last week, after myriad calls to implement the measure as most states already have done. The order, which started today, lasts until April 24.
“There comes a time when we have to make major sacrifices in our lives. Many of us make sacrifices each and every day, but now more than ever, we must all make sacrifices,” Parson said in a news release Friday. “This is not about any one individual person. This is about our families, friends, neighbors and the entire state of Missouri. For the sake of all Missourians, be smart, be responsible and stay home."
Scott said some parts of the state order that are stricter would be implemented locally. She said that mostly pertains to occupancy limits.
Parson's order states occupancy for essential retailers must be kept to 25% of the entity’s authorized fire or building code occupancy if it has less than 10,000 square feet. For those with more than 10,000 square feet, it's 10%.
Scott said a news conference this afternoon likely would continue the discussion.
Parson's order drew mixed reactions.
House Minority Leader Crystal Quade, D-Springfield, said the order does not go far enough.
"It is so riddled with exemptions that it differs little from the weak and ineffective social distancing directive the administration previously issued, and it formally punts responsibility for imposing stricter measures to local officials," Quade said in a statement. "Until the Parson administration takes the strong action the situation requires, COVID-19 will continue to spread in Missouri at an alarming rate.”
Meanwhile, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry issued its support.
"This decision was made out of necessity and we applaud the governor for allowing essential business operations, and those in their supply chains, to continue to operate in an as-close-to-normal manner as is practical," chamber President and CEO Dan Mehan said in a news release. "Gov. Parson’s solution strikes a balance between the need to act to combat this public health crisis while also establishing safe, achievable practices to ensure that Missouri stays open for business."
A pair of area medical colleges that received state grant funding in the fall are now investing the funds toward technology and new programs with the intent of attracting more students to the nursing profession.