Crisis over: Governor announces shift in COVID-19 response

Gov. Mike Parson has announced an end to the COVID-19 crisis in Missouri, marking a shift in the state’s ongoing response to the virus.

In remarks from his office on March 30, Gov. Parson said, “We believe the need for COVID-19 crisis response has come to an end. The COVID-19 crisis is over here in the state of Missouri.”

The decision means that some precautions like universal contact tracing will be discontinued. Statewide data sharing will continue, but with less frequency and with a focus on regional and community response to future COVID-19 outbreaks.

The change acknowledges that COVID-19 will likely not be eradicated and will instead continue circulating like other illnesses.

“We are entering the endemic phase of the recovery,” said Paula Nickelson, acting director of the Department of Health and Senior Services. “Endemic does not mean the end. It refers to the constant presence of the disease within a population or geographic area.”