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State of Missouri Public Health Warning

STATE OF MISSOURI PUBLIC HEALTH WARNING
The country is currently experiencing an extreme outbreak of COVID-19. As we move from fall into the winter months, respiratory illnesses spread more rapidly as people move indoors and environmental conditions change. COVID-19 is following that pattern. The risks will become more serious with the onset of flu season. Every state is affected. Every community is at risk. If we do not slow the spread of the virus, we risk having our health care systems overwhelmed by COVID-19 patients. This poses a significant risk not only to those suffering from COVID-19, our first responders, and those working in our healthcare systems but to anyone requiring health care support. This includes people requiring emergency services and ICU access from car accidents to the treatment of serious health conditions such as cancer. We will continue to take a balanced approach to Missouri’s COVID-19 response. Our approach is data-driven and based upon the most recent research. We have learned much since the start of the pandemic about how to live and work responsibly in the COVID-19 environment. Until a vaccine is made available to the general population in 2021, the most effective weapon against COVID-19 remains prevention. We do not need to lock down our communities if people do the right things to fight the spread of the virus. Due to extreme COVID-19 risks, the State of Missouri issues the following public health warning to set expectations for all individuals living and/or working in Missouri and for our local jurisdictions: Personal Behavior Advisory The foundation for our success in fighting COVID-19 remains individuals doing the right thing.

To protect our families, our neighbors, our communities, and our ability to continue our daily lives, we need everyone who is able to follow these basic principles:
• Wear a mask at all times in public and other settings outside your home where social distancing is not possible.
• Maintain social distance of at least 6 feet wherever possible, and limit close contacts with other individuals to less than 15 minutes.
• Wash hands multiple times a day.
• Stay home when sick or if you have symptoms. Self-isolate from other family members.
• As much as possible, limit your regular interactions to a small group (<10) of family members, friends, and/or co-workers if living in a Category 1 or 2 community.