While it may be disappointing to hear that so many sports events, cruises, festivals and other gatherings are being cancelled, there is a public health reason for these measures. These cancellations help stop or slow down the spread of disease allowing the health care system to more readily care for patients over time.
Cancelling events that are likely to draw crowds is an example of social and physical distancing. Social distancing is deliberately increasing the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. Staying at least six feet away from other people lessens your chances of catching COVID-19.
Other examples of social and physical distancing that allow you to avoid larger crowds or crowded spaces are:
Flattening the curve refers to using protective practices to slow the rate of COVID-19 infection so hospitals have room, supplies and doctors for all of the patients who need care.
A large number of people becoming very sick over the course of a few days could overwhelm a hospital or care facility. Too many people becoming severely ill with COVID-19 at roughly the same time could result in a shortage of hospital beds, equipment or doctors.
On a graph, a sudden surge in patients over a short time could be represented as a tall, narrow curve.
On the other hand, if that same large number of patients arrived at the hospital at a slower rate, for example, over the course of several weeks, the line of the graph would look like a longer, flatter curve.
In this situation, fewer patients would arrive at the hospital each day. There would be a better chance of the hospital being able to keep up with adequate supplies, beds and health care providers to care for them.
JEFFERSON CITY - Building on Missouri’s efforts to control, contain, and combat COVID-19, Governor Mike Parson today issued a statewide “Stay Home Missouri” Order effective beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, April 6, 2020, until 11:59 p.m. on Friday, April 24, 2020.
The Order explicitly states that individuals currently residing within the state of Missouri shall avoid leaving their homes or places of residence unless necessary.
“First and foremost, I want everyone to know that I love this state and the people of this state,” Governor Parson said. “The people of this great state clearly define who we are in Missouri, and as Governor, I have no greater responsibility than to protect the health, well-being, and safety of all Missourians.”
In order to protect public health and prevent the further spread of COVID-19, Governor Parson’s Order includes specific guidance for staying home, social distancing, businesses and employees, schools, restaurants, firearm sales, and state government buildings.
Among other guidelines, the Order requires the following:
The Order does not prohibit Missourians from accessing essential services, such as grocery stores, gas stations, and banks, or engaging in outdoor recreation, provided that necessary precautions are taken and maintained to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, including observing the social gathering and social distancing requirements set forth in the Order.
The Order shall be observed throughout the state and enforced by all local and state health authorities. Local public health authorities are directed to carry out and enforce the provisions of the Order by any legal means.
“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,” Governor Parson said. “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, Missourians.”
As of today, Missouri has 2,113 positive COVID-19 cases out of 24,727 tested in a total population of 6 million Missourians. This data shows that 8.5 percent of those tested have been positive.
Of the 8.5 percent of Missouri citizens who have tested positive, approximately 22 percent have required hospitalization. This means the remaining 78 percent are recovering at home or have already recovered.
Missouri has at least one positive case in 76 of Missouri’s 114 counties. Over half of the total positive cases are in St. Louis region.
Also as of today, Missouri has 19 COVID-19 related deaths. Based on the state's current data, Missouri's death rate is still below one percent.
To view the full “Stay Home Missouri” Order, please click here. For more information and resources regarding COVID-19, visit the CDC’s website at www.cdc.gov/coronavirus and the DHSS website at www.health.mo.gov/coronavirus.