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JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Gov. Mike Parson announced Thursday that the COVID-19 state of emergency for Missouri will expire on Dec. 31 and won’t be renewed.

“Thanks to the effectiveness of the vaccine, widespread efforts to mitigate the virus, and our committed health care professionals, past needs to continue the state of emergency are no longer present,” Parson said in a press release.

He had declared the state of emergency back in March 2020.

“Over the last 22 months, we have coordinated with local, state, and private partners to mitigate COVID-19 and work towards returning to normalcy,” Parson said. “We all now know how to best fight and prevent serious illness from this virus. The state stands ready to provide assistance and response, but there is no longer a need for a state of emergency.”

Only 20 other states have related COVID-19 state of emergencies still in place, with three of those bordering Missouri.

Parson said that Missouri never had mandates or forced lockdowns. He said the main focus was on providing support and assistance to Missourians, health care facilities, and businesses. He also gave encouragement to get vaccinated and stay diligent as we continue to battle COVID-19 while trying to live our normal lives.

“It is time to take this final step and move forward as a state,” he said.

The press release noted that more than 565,000 doses of COVID vaccines were administered throughout the state in December, and more than 73% of Missourians 18 and older have “chosen to initiate vaccination.”