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ST. LOUIS, Mo. – Missouri has been under a “State of Emergency” since March 13, 2020. Governor Mike Parson has just terminated the original executive order.

The governor has enacted a new executive order that, “Represents a more targeted State of Emergency declaration that acknowledges the continued needs of Missouri’s health care system. While Missouri’s economy has improved, the health care system is still experiencing strain due to current staffing shortages being exacerbated by COVID-19.”

There are signs of COVID hospitalizations plateauing in the region. The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force released its latest data and said the area is looking better than it did a week ago.

Dr. Clay Dunagan, of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force says that if you compare the curve of St. Louis’s cases to southwest Missouri it appears our region may have hit a plateau. He said southwest Missouri saw its peak six weeks sooner than St. Louis. Six weeks later, St. Louis is seeing a flattening of the curve, not a rise.

Missouri can still activate the National Guard for help. The order also allows state agencies to request a waiver of certain statutory and regulatory requirements.

“We have always taken a balanced approach in our response to COVID-19, and this new order demonstrates the progress we have made in fighting this virus,” states Gov. Parson. “Like all Missourians, we want this crisis to end and to close this chapter. However, while we are shifting our operations, we must maintain flexibility to aid our health care system and adapt to the challenges we face.”

Executive Order 21-09 will end on December 31, 2021.