“I appreciate the President acting quickly on my disaster declaration request and the commitment of federal resources as we battle this unprecedented public health and economic threat to Missourians,” Governor Parson said. “As I’ve said throughout our COVID-19 response effort, we will continue to pursue every way possible to adapt and deliver additional resources to help protect the health of Missourians and promote long-term recovery.” Governor Parson requested the federal disaster declaration on March 24. On March 13, Governor Parson declared a state of emergency in Missouri and activated the State Emergency Operations Plan in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. On March 21, Governor Parson directed Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Director Dr. Randall Williams to order social distancing statewide. Dr. Williams limited social gatherings in Missouri to no more than 10 people; directed Missourians to avoid eating or drinking in restaurants, bars, or food courts; and ordered that schools remain closed. Last week, Governor Parson’s request for low-interest federal disaster loans for Missouri small businesses suffering substantial economic injury as a result of COVID-19 was approved by the U.S. Small Business Administration.