JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — In Missouri Governor Mike Parson’s daily updates he confirms there are 502 positive cases of COVID-19 with a large number of cases being 20 to 29 years old.
“This shows it doesn’t matter how old you are, you’re still at risk,” Gov. Parson said. “And we need everyone to take this seriously. These are tough times for our state but we will get through this together.”
Gov. Parson and director of the Missouri Department of Transportation, Patrick McKenna also announced several commercial driving regulations waived or relaxed.
McKenna says they’ve relaxed the hours of operation for motor carriers to give them more flexibility for transporting goods. They’ve also eased restrictions for heavier than normal truckloads of emergency supplies and equipment to travel on all Missouri highways including interstates. Other supplies and equipment include livestock, poultry, associated feed and fuel.
In addition, they suspended all Missouri international registration plans and international fuel tax agreement trip and fuel permit requirements. Including fees not currently registered for interstate travel in Missouri. The Missouri Department of Revenue has implemented a 60-day extension of driving privileges. This extension applies to individuals with commercial drivers or non-commercial drivers expiration dates of March 1, 2020, through April 3, 2020.
Second, the Department of Revenue has issued an extension of CDL medical certificates. This extension applies to individuals holding a CDL or commercial learners permit with a current medical certificate that has been issued for a period of 90 days or more and has an expiration date of March 1, 2020, through April 30, 2020. The extension lasts until June 3, 2020.
Then Gov. Parson talked about how everyone should focus on mental health going forward.
“This crisis is affecting everyone,” Gov. Parson said. “Mental health is something everyone should focus on. Not just right now but going forward. As Missourians continue to cope with the after-effects of COVID-19. We’re going to get through this together. We have to personally take care of ourselves mentally and physically.”
He introduced the Missouri Department of Mental Health director, Mark Stringer, to discuss this issue.
Stringer said they relaxed or suspended some of they’re rules and regulations that would prevent community providers from delivering essential services. They will also be conducting business by telephone instead of in person.
Stringer also recommends using the federal Disaster Distress Helpline, 800-985-5990.
“The federal Disaster Distress Helpline was created for times like this,” Stringer said. “It is staffed with mental health professionals who could talk with you. And if you need more help than they can provide, they can connect you with services here in Missouri.”
Gov. Parson also discussed whether he has changed his mind on a statewide stay-at-home order.
“You know, I have not,” Gov. Parson said. “I answered that question yesterday, but I think that’s important. We look that every day, we look at it from a factual basis, statistic wise where these cases are and what point would we make that decision if we did.
“Every day I got to keep in mind ‘I got to do the whole state.’ The other thing you got to keep in mind – the mayors are doing their job out there, too. They already got a lot of orders in the urban areas where most cases are. But again I got to evaluate that whether I shut down the entire state with that order or not.”
Gov. Parson said he feels what’s “most important” is to stay at home if possible.