JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — All state employees will return to in-person work in their offices by May 17, after many spent most of the past 14 months working remotely.
Gov. Mike Parson’s order, announced Wednesday, also requires that all state buildings be open and accessible to the public during normal business hours.
“With COVID-19 vaccines now readily available across the state and virus activity at its lowest levels since early days of the pandemic, we are confident that it is safe to return to pre-COVID-19 work settings and schedules,” Parson, a Republican, said in a news release.
The governor’s office said that COVID-19 screening and testing protocols would remain in place and that the state was encouraging all employees to consider vaccinations. Although there are no statewide mandates, state employees are being encouraged to continue practicing COVID-19 preventative measures.
“As public servants in state government, it is important that we maintain a front-facing presence for those we serve, and it’s time we take this step towards normalcy for ourselves and the people of Missouri,” Parson said.
Meanwhile, the state health department reported 454 additional confirmed cases and four more deaths. The state has confirmed 504,069 coronavirus cases and 8,818 deaths since the pandemic began.