JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — As lawmakers briefly convened in the capital city this week, most wore face masks.
Some were homemade; others were given out by Capital Region Medical Center staff who were on hand to take temperatures and give mini-surveys before anyone — lawmakers and visitors alike — entered the Capitol.
As of Wednesday evening, more than 3,300 Missourians have tested positive for coronavirus, and 58 people have died. The state is under a stay at home order and an emergency declaration as the global pandemic persists.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends individuals wear a cloth face covering while in public, especially “where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain” as more information has come to light about the virus and how it can spread. The CDC said the virus can transmit before an individual shows symptoms or from someone who is asymptomatic.
Sen. Lauren Arthur was one lawmaker who donned a face covering which was sewed by her mother-in-law. Pointing to the CDC’s guidance, Arthur said: “Out of an abundance of caution — and out of a deep respect for my colleagues and their health — I wanted to do my part in maintaining a safe work environment.”
One House member has tested positive for coronavirus.
Several lawmakers shared photos of their masks on social media.
The Missouri Senate returns to session this week in Jefferson City. We're working on the supplemental budget and allocating resources to fight #COVID19 while also trying to take safe measures. Thanks to my mother-in-law for sewing this face mask. #moleg pic.twitter.com/5GUMOWMtxM
— Lauren Arthur (@LaurenArthurMO) April 7, 2020
— Jamilah Nasheed (@SenatorNasheed) April 8, 2020
— Crystal Quade (@crystal_quade) April 7, 2020
— MaryElizabethColeman (@meaccoleman) April 7, 2020
— Rasheen Aldridge. Jr (@RepSheenBean) April 7, 2020
Proud to represent the people of District 138 as #moleg has risen to the challenge of this pandemic passing legislation that would provide over $5 billion in emergency funds for COVID-19 testing, equipping healthcare providers, aid to counties and municipalities, and much more! pic.twitter.com/sDsmbjx4J6
— Brad Hudson (@brad_hudson_) April 8, 2020
On my to Jefferson City to pass a supplementary emergency budget to help our cities, hospitals, first responders, essential workers, unemployed, small business and citizens. #COVID19 #moleg pic.twitter.com/33H7DjKgqk
— Doug Beck (@Dougbeck562) April 8, 2020
#moleg Now in session. A historic day for sure. Unprecedented procedures to pass the supplemental Budget. Pray for unity and wellness as we do what’s necessary for our constituents. pic.twitter.com/Bg8cu7IoTo
— Peggy McGaugh (@PeggyMcGaughR39) April 8, 2020
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is the editor of The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.
Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.
She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact Kaitlyn at email@example.com.