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Jack Kosowski
By Jack Kosowski May 20, 2020

Despite Parson's claim, not all businesses could open May 4

If Your Time is short


Missouri reopened on May 4 with Gov. Mike Parson beginning the first phase of his "Show Me Strong Recovery Plan."

In an April 27 tweet, Parson said, "All Missouri businesses can open Monday, May 4, under our new order as long as new guidelines are followed."

But not all Missouri businesses were able to reopen.

Counties and cities in the state had extended stay-at-home orders past the May 4 date Parson had in mind for a Missouri reopening.

St. Louis County, the hardest-hit county in the state, and the city of St. Louis had stay-at-home orders in place until Monday. Their policies were based on Health Commissioner Fredrick Echols’ Order No. 7, which was dated April 16, and were in place at the time the governor announced the first phase of reopening.

Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas signed an extension of the stay-at-home order on April 16. That order was set to expire on May 15. Some businesses began opening up May 6. According to KCUR/89.3FM, movie theaters won’t open up there until at least June.

Jackson County (not including Kansas City), began reopening May 10.

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In Columbia and surrounding Boone County, the health director extended a stay-at-home order three days before the governor’s tweet. Bars, nightclubs, movie and music theaters are still closed. A judge on Friday rejected a request for a temporary restraining order to block the restrictions.

So, have all businesses been able to open in Missouri? No, it’s more complicated than that.

We reached out to Parson’s office. While acknowledging our email, there was no information provided. In a radio interview with KFTK/97.1 FM in St. Louis on April 29, Parson noted he did not have the power to make counties comply with the reopening plan, but he could exert "political pressure" to do so. Parson’s order was a minimum, allowing for localities to make more restrictive measures.

Our ruling

In a tweet April 27, Parson said, "All Missouri businesses can open Monday, May 4, under our new Order as long as new guidelines are followed."

Were all Missouri businesses open? The short and long answer is no. Localities had extended restrictions on businesses before Parson’s tweet. Although most businesses were allowed to open, some weren’t.

We rate Parson’s statement Mostly False.

Our Sources

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, Governor Parson announces first phase of "Show Me Strong Recovery" Plan to begin May 4, Apr. 27, 2020

KMOV, Page warns St. Louis County businesses planning to violate stay-at-home order to get "legal advice", Apr. 29, 2020

KMOX, St. Louis Mayor says city will not follow the state and end stay-at-home order on May 4, Apr. 27, 2020

St. Louis Public Radio, Coronavirus In St. Louis: Answering Your Questions About Stay-At-Home Orders, Apr. 22, 2020

KSDK, ‘No one is safe from COVID-19’ | 1 week until St. Louis County eases restrictions, May 11, 2020

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Judge denies restraining order, says St. Louis stay-at-home orders vdo not violate business’ constitutional rights, May 9, 2020, 

KCUR, Here’s What People Can Do - And Not Do - In Kansas City, Missouri, As Stay-At-Home Order Partially Lifts, May 6, 2020

KSDK, St. Louis County Executive says to ‘get good legal advice’ if you plan to open your business in violation of stay-at-home order, Apr. 29, 2020 

97.1 FM Talk, Governor Parson: We need to get back to business, Apr. 29, 2020

Columbia Tribune, Treece outlines plans to reopen Columbia, Boone County, Apr. 30, 2020

City of Columbia, Public Health Order 2020-04, April 23, 2020

City of Columbia, Public Health Order 2020-05 FAQ, accessed May 15, 2020 

City of Columbia, Director of Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services releases No. 2020-05, Apr. 30, 2020

City of Kansas City, Mo., Third Amended Order 20-01, April 16, 2020

City of Kansas City, Mo., Stay at Home Order FAQ, accessed May 15, 2020 

Jackson County, Mo., COVID-19 Related Service and Event Changes, accessed May 15, 2020, Health Commissioner's Order No. 7, April 16, 2020

Despite Parson's claim, not all businesses could open May 4

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