Gov. Parson extends State of Emergency in Missouri through March 2021, still no face mask mandate

75756A5E-120A-4932-810C-2FD980DB785E

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) - Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced the current State of Emergency will be extended until March 31, 2021, citing hospital capacity and staffing issues due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parson said people should be taking it upon themselves to change their behaviors through the holidays by limiting gatherings with family and friends, and wearing a face mask. However, he repeated that he won't issue a mask mandate for the state.

"You just need to take it on yourselves," Parson said Thursday morning.

Despite a Saint Louis University study which found masks slowed virus spread by 44% in St. Louis City and County, Parson is sticking to his guns.

"The truth of the matter is that the hospital capacity is becoming a problem," Parson says. "We're looking at all options."

One thing he's considering is bringing in military resources, he said.

He says he won't mandate people take the vaccine when it becomes available, but will encourage it.

Read the full declaration, here.