Gov. Mike Parson Declares Emergency; Missouri COVID-19 Cases Increase (Including Another in St. Louis County)

Governor Mike Parson says the state is working with universities to ramp up testing. - TOM HELLAUER
Governor Mike Parson says the state is working with universities to ramp up testing.
Update: One of the new cases is the second for St. Louis County. The county patient is between 50 and 60 years old, and is believed to have contracted the virus through domestic travel, county officials say. This second case in the county is not related to the first, a twenty-year-old college student who returned from Italy.

Governor Mike Parson has declared a state of emergency as the number of cases of coronavirus increased to four in Missouri.

At a news conference this evening, the governor said they're also working with the University of Missouri and Washington University to ramp up their ability to test for COVID-19, and they're taking other precautions, such as restricting visits to state prisons for 30 days.

"We knew this was coming, and we are taking every precaution we can," Parson said.

Missouri has tested 94 people as of today. The first positive test was in St. Louis County and a second was in Greene County in southwest Missouri. The governor said they're still making notifications for the latest two positive tests, which just came back today. He said he has no more information about those cases.

Missouri can currently run 68 tests per day and could increase it to a couple of hundred without much trouble, according to state officials.

Parson says the declaration is a preventive measure that should free up about $7 million to help the state's efforts to slow the spread of the virus.

"I think we have to prepare for the worst and hope for the best," Parson said.

For more information on COVID-19, go to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's website, and for more on the local response, go to websites for the city's health department and St. Louis County's health department.

We welcome tips and feedback. Email the author at [email protected] or follow on Twitter at @DoyleMurphy.
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