Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) has lifted the state’s COVID-19 state of emergency for the first time since March 2020. 

“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 statement on Thursday.

“Over the last 22 months, we have coordinated with local, state, and private partners to mitigate COVID-19 and work towards returning to normalcy. 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.”

Parson previously extended the state’s COVID-19-related state of emergency five times before issuing the final executive order for health care needs in August. 

According to the statement, all of the state’s remaining COVID-19 related waivers authorized under EO 21-09 will be terminated on Dec.31. 

Also, all state agencies, boards, commissions, and departments are allowed to pursue rule-making if permanent changes to regulations are needed after Dec.31  to improve long-term outcomes for residents, healthcare facilities, and businesses. 

“In Missouri, we never had mandates or forced lockdowns,” Parson said. “The main focus of our state of emergency was to provide regulatory flexibility to support and assist Missourians, health care facilities, and businesses and coordinate a COVID-19 response that saved lives and livelihoods.” 

“We encourage all Missourians to consider COVID-19 vaccination and to stay diligent, but we can work together to fight COVID-19 while living our normal lives. It is time to take this final step and move forward as a state.”

The U.S. is currently dealing with a winter surge of COVID-19 infections as the omicron variant has taken hold across the nation.

State authorities have administered over 565,000 vaccine doses with 42 percent of residents being a part of a primary vaccine series.

Nearly 94 percent of state residents over the age of 65 have received one dose of the vaccine and 62 percent of residents have chosen to get vaccinated against the virus, according to the statement.

Tags #coronavirus COVID-19 Mike Parson Missouri

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