Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced Thursday he would extend the state’s stay-at-home order to May 3, adding officials were beginning work on a plan to reopen the state’s economy.
The Republican chief executive said the extension would allow time for more testing and recovery from the effects of COVID-19.
The state’s current order was set to end on April 24, but cases of the respiratory virus continue to grow. Parson’s announcement came after mayors in the state’s most populated areas announced they were extended their stay-at-home orders.
On Thursday, Missouri reported another 216 cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total number of known cases to 5,111.
The state also reported five new deaths, bringing Missouri’s toll to 152.
Much of the state is in shut-down mode, with schools and universities closed for the remainder of the academic year and thousands of people working remotely. County schools are educating remotely.
Parson’s order includes a requirement that limits gatherings to 10 people, resulting in the closure of many retail operations deemed non-essential.