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Coronavirus changes swearing in for governor, lawmakers

December 9, 2020 GMT

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson’s inaugural committee plans to postpone the traditional inaugural ball and parade and will have a scaled down swearing-in ceremony next month in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The parade and ball will instead coincide with the state’s celebration of its Bicentennial in August, if the coronavirus is sufficiently controlled by then, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday.

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Parson and other statewide office holders will be sworn in on the steps of the state Capitol on Jan. 11. Those planning to attend are asked to RSVP to allow planning for social distancing.

The 163 members of the House are expected to be sworn into office in groups on Jan. 6, rather than having them and their families together in the chamber at the same time.

“To kick off Missouri’s bicentennial, we will celebrate our state’s rich heritage with a historic Bicentennial Inauguration,” said first lady Teresa Parson, who is co-chairing the inaugural committee. “The strong bonds that tie Missourians together have endured for over 200 years and will provide the strength needed to continue moving Missouri forward.”

Parson, 65, won a four-year term on Nov. 3 over Democratic Auditor Nicole Galloway.