Missouri Governor Says 'COVID-19 Crisis is Over.' St. Louis City Says It's Not

click to enlarge Missouri Governor Mike Parson has declared the state is in an endemic. - TIM BOMMEL/HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS
TIM BOMMEL/HOUSE COMMUNICATIONS
Missouri Governor Mike Parson has declared the state is in an endemic.

According to Missouri Governor Mike Parson, the COVID-19 pandemic has officially entered “endemic” status in the state, as of April 1.

“The COVID-19 crisis is over in the state of Missouri,” Parson said in a press conference on March 30, “and we are moving on.”

The City of St. Louis, however, is saying they’re not ready to declare an end to the pandemic. The RFT reached out to the mayor’s office after the governor made his announcement Wednesday afternoon to ask how this will affect the city and a spokesperson said they will defer to the health department and its experts for guidance.

Those experts released a statement saying that while transmission of the virus — which has killed 747 St. Louisans — is down, they are still closely monitoring variants; BA.2 has quickly become the dominant strain of COVID-19 and is considered “stealth omicron.” Omicron was responsible for creating the highest surge of COVID-19 positivity rates, and the region saw hospitalizations top over 1,000 for the first time in the pandemic.

The St. Louis City Department of Health is also considering the fact that a large number of residents are still suffering from long term effects from their exposure to the virus. Dr. Mati Hlatshwayo Davis, Director of Health for the City of St. Louis, says protecting vulnerable populations is one of the biggest reasons for her career in medicine and specifically, infectious diseases including COVID-19.

“It has been a long two years for our entire community,” Hlatshwayo Davis says in a statement. “While we wish to move forward from this pandemic, there are multiple metrics that have yet to be achieved, and a large segment of the city’s most vulnerable population continues to be disproportionately impacted by the virus.”

Hlatshwayo Davis and the health department are continuing to encourage St. Louisans to mask up in certain situations, get vaccinated and boosted, staying home from public areas if you feel sick and testing for COVID-19 if you’re experiencing symptoms or have been exposed.

The Department of Health also added that they’ll continue to support the community through vaccine clinic partnerships, continuing to inform St. Louis about available resources and "making personal protective equipment available to vulnerable populations, including teachers, the unhoused, and residents in need of social support."

Follow Jenna on Twitter at @writesjenna. Email the author at [email protected]

About The Author

Jenna Jones

Jenna Jones is one of the digital content editors at the Riverfront Times. She would love to talk to you about Harry Styles.
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