JEFFERSON CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Missouri's top government officials will not issue a mask mandate, Gov. Mike Parson said Thursday morning while addressing various coronavirus issues facing the state.
The governor stressed the importance of safety measures to stem the tide of rising COVID-19 cases across the state, but said those measures fall on personal responsibility of the individual. He said he is against mandates, but personally thinks people should choose to wear a mask.
The governor also announced he is extending Missouri's State of Emergency through next March. That declaration allows Missouri certain resource options to fight the pandemic, which is growing at a rapid pace.
"The virus is rising," Parson said. "We need to do everything we can...The responsibility is on individuals."
With hospitals across Missouri nearing capacity because of COVID-19 patients, Parson also said people should change their behaviors during the upcoming holidays, noting that his own Thanksgiving is going to look different this year, with fewer people.
On Wednesday, Kansas Governor Laura Kelly issued a new mask mandate as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the state, but don’t expect a mandate coming from Missouri.
"The hospital capacity is becoming an issue," he said. "We're looking at all options," including potentially bringing in military resources.