As the coronavirus pandemic has continued to spread, Gov. Mike Parson has issued more than a dozen executive orders to mitigate COVID-19.
The Republican chief executive implemented a statewide stay at home order for nearly a month before it ended on May 4, 2020. The stay at home mandate was similar in nature to a previous social distancing directive.
At least 487,000 people in Missouri have tested positive for coronavirus over the past year with more than 8,400 deaths.
From activating the Missouri National Guard to waiving late penalties for concealed carry permits, here’s a running list of the executive orders Parson has signed to deal with COVID-19. (This story will be updated, with the most recent orders added to the top.)
March 26: Extension of state of emergency
Parson extended the ongoing state of emergency through Aug. 31 in an effort to accelerate recovery efforts from the pandemic. Executive Order 21-07 allows for continued utilization of the Missouri National Guard and federal funding for COVID-19 response efforts, the administration said in a press release.
March 22, 2021: Show Me Strong Recovery Task Force
Parson ordered the creation of a task force to examine the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses with Executive Order 21-06. One area of focus will be studying minority-owned businesses, including ways to increase engagement through economic development tools already at the state’s disposal.
November 19: Extension of state of emergency
Through Executive Order 20-19, Parson extended the ongoing state of emergency until March 31, 2021. The original state of emergency was declared on March 13 and has been extended three times, including in the Nov. 19 order. Positive COVID-19 cases in Missouri continue to climb, and hospitals have expressed concerns, particularly when it comes to staffing.
September 15: Extension of National Guard mobilization
Parson signed Executive Order 20-16 extending the mobilization of the National Guard to continue managing the COVID-19 pandemic through the end of the year. The original order was previously extended until Sept. 15.
“The National Guard has played a major role in supporting state and community response efforts, including COVID-19 testing support, supply and equipment transportation, and meal distribution just to name a few,” Parson said. “This executive order will allow the Guard to continue assisting the people of Missouri as we move forward.”
September 3: Greater notary accessibility
Despite a new state law modernizing notary services, Parson signed Executive Order 20-14 on Sept. 3 to increase notary services during the pandemic, suspending personal appearance requirements in certain instances.
The order covers estate planning documents such as powers of attorney, trusts, and wills along with self-proving affidavits, the governor said.
July 31: Extension of previous Missouri 2020 Complete Count Committee order
The governor extended the deadline for the Missouri 2020 Complete Count Committee to submit its report to Nov. 30 with Executive Order 20-13. The extension was granted since the U.S. Census Bureau already extended its 2020 Census deadline because of COVID-19.
“Missouri’s Complete Count Committee’s mission remains a critical component in the effort to secure a fair and equitable 2020 Census,” Parson said in a statement. “Extending the deadline for the committee’s work will help ensure accurate and reliable census data is collected for the state of Missouri and reinforce the importance of having every Missourian counted.”
June 11: Extension of previous executive orders, state of emergency
As the state prepares to move into the second phase of reopening, Parson extended the state of emergency through Dec. 30 with Executive Order 20-12. The order also extended previous executive orders: related to the sale of unprepared restaurant foods to the public, mobilization of the Missouri National Guard, easement of certain regulations, and the waiver of in-person notary requirements.
May 4: Extension of previous executive orders
Parson extended a bevy of previous coronavirus-related executive orders he said were designed to ease regulatory burdens through Executive Order 20-10. The extensions cover Executive Orders 20-04 (regulatory burdens), 20-05 (sale of unprepared food by restaurants), 20-08 (suspension of in-person notary services), and 20-06 (Missouri National Guard mobilization).
April 24: State of emergency extension
April 6: In-person notary suspensions
Executive Order 20-08 suspends the requirement for personal appearances before a notary public in some instances. It allows a notarial act to be performed using video and audio technology if several requirements are met. Among them are: both the person with the signature and notary must be physically in Missouri, the video conference is live, and the person needing a signature notarized must present a valid ID during the video conference if not otherwise known to the notary.
April 2: Late renewals for concealed carry permits
Parson waived penalties for late renewal applications for concealed carry permits under Executive Order 20-07. In his daily briefing, the governor said this would free up local law enforcement officials from administrative tasks. He also said Missourians “shouldn’t be penalized for staying home like they’re asked.”
NEW: Gov. Parson has signed a new executive order, suspending late penalties for concealed carry license renewals. He says people "shouldn't be penalized for staying home like they're asked" & this frees up law enforcement from admin tasks. #moleg
— Kaitlyn Schallhorn (@K_Schallhorn) April 2, 2020
March 26: State militia activation
Executive Order 20-06 mobilized the Missouri National Guard to assist with coronavirus response. Adjutant General Levon Cumpton said mobilized Missouri National Guard personnel would receive specialized health and safety training in addition to guidance already provided at the federal level.
March 23: Sale of unprepared food by restaurants
Executive Order 20-05 gave the green light for restaurants to sell unprepared food to the public. Parson noted coronavirus had caused many restaurants to shutter completely or drastically change operations.
“We hope easing this regulatory burden will not only assist restaurants financially during this time and avoid unnecessary waste, but also help meet the increased demand for food across the state,” he said.
The executive order did not suspend any laws pertaining to adulterated or misbranded foods.
March 18: Regulatory burdens
In the Executive Order 20-04, Parson loosened some regulatory burdens that could “interfere” with Missouri’s response to COVID-19. The order allowed for more telehealth services, extended the hours commercial drivers are allowed to operate on Missouri roads, and removed certain barriers to entering the education profession.
The order also allowed various departments to temporarily waive certain regulations — albeit, with the governor’s approval — as deemed necessary.
March 18: Municipal elections
Executive Order 20-03 moved the municipal elections scheduled for April 7 to June 2. The move came after several counties petitioned the courts to move the elections or authorize vote-by-mail. The deadlines to register to vote (March 11) and filing as a write-in candidate (March 27) remained unchanged, but Missourians do have until May 20 to apply for an absentee ballot.
March 13, 2020: Initial state of emergency
Parson declared a state of emergency on March 13 with Executive Order 20-02 — the same day President Trump declared a national emergency. The state of emergency invoked the Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan and unleashed about $7 million in funding.
“I want to be clear that the declaration has not been made because we feel our current health care system is overwhelmed or unprepared,” Parson said. “The purpose of this executive order is to provide more flexibility in utilizing our resources and deploying them around the state where they are most appropriate.”
This story has been updated. It was originally published on March 23, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.