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story.lead_photo.caption Gov. Mike Parson gives a press briefing Tuesday, March 17, 2020, on the status of coronavirus spread in Missouri. Photo by Liv Paggiarino / California Democrat.
For more news about the COVID-19 coronavirus, access the News Tribune Health section.

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced Saturday an order effective at 12:01 a.m. Monday that shall have people in the state:

Avoid social gatherings of 10 or more people.

Avoid eating or drinking at restaurants, bars and food courts; drive-thru, pickup and delivery will still be allowed.

Not visit nursing homes, long-term care facilities, retirement homes and assisted living homes, unless to provide critical assistance.

People will still be allowed to visit grocery stores, gas stations, parks and banks, so long as necessary precautions are taken, including staying at least 6 feet away from individuals who are not family members.

Schools shall remain closed, but are not prohibited from providing child care and meals to children who qualify. Teachers and staff may enter school buildings so long as they follow social distancing directives.

Offices and workplaces that remain open are to have individuals practice good hygiene, and when feasible, people should work from home.

"The more that people reduce their public contact, the sooner COVID-19 will be contained and the sooner this order will expire," according to a news release from Parson's office.

The order is in effect until 12:01 a.m., Monday, April 6, unless extended further.

"I cannot emphasize enough how important it is for all citizens to practice social distancing and abide by this order, which is backed by intense deliberation and knowledge," Parson said.

"This is a serious time for our state and nation, and we must continue taking all steps necessary to stop the spread of COVID-19."

In addition, tax payment and vehicle registration-related deadlines and social benefit program eligibility or review periods are being extended.

Missouri tax payment deadlines for some individuals and businesses are being extended from April 15 to July 15.

The filing deadline for tax returns is still April 15, but those who cannot file their return by that date will be able to seek a six-month extension.

Vehicle registrations or license plates that expire this month or in April have been granted an automatic two-month extension. Owners will be able to continue to drive without penalty until they can apply for renewal.

For more news about the COVID-19 coronavirus, access the News Tribune Health section.
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