Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has signed an executive order to begin mobilizing the Missouri National Guard to assist in the state’s COVID-19 response efforts.

Friday morning, the governor's office said the action will increase the amount of coordination among state government partners in combating the spread of COVID-19 across the state.

Governor Parsons

“The COVID-19 crisis is constantly developing and changing, but we are taking steps each and every day to slow the spread and protect public health and safety,” Parson said. “Mobilizing the National Guard will help us provide more immediate resources to our citizens and enhance Missouri’s ability to overcome this global pandemic.”

The governor made the decision to mobilize the Guard after conferring with his state emergency management team, including officials from the Missouri Department of Public Safety, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, and the State Emergency Management Agency. 

Missouri’s healthcare system is receiving extensive real time or near real-time information, and guiding data-driven priorities and decisions. Engagement with stakeholders like the Guard will help define priorities and coordinate from the planning stage to their implementation.

Adjutant General Levon Cumpton said the Guard is providing specialized health and safety training to all personnel that are being mobilized in addition to guidance that all soldiers, air personnel, and civilians have already received from the Department of Defense and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The National Guard is ready and poised to assist local and state civilian authorities in response to COVID-19,” Cumptonsaid. “The Guard has flexibility in utilizing resources and deploying them around the state where they are most appropriate.”

On March 13, Parson declared a state of emergency and directed the Missouri State Emergency Operations Plan to be activated. Several measures have already been taken to respond to the increased health threat posed by COVID-19, including an order to ease regulatory burdens that interfere with Missouri's response efforts.