Parson declares state of emergency in Missouri after 2 more presumptive positive coronavirus cases

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — On Friday, Gov. Mike Parson declared a state of emergency for Missouri while also announcing two more “presumptive positive” cases in the state.

One of the two new cases is a St. Louis County resident who is 50-60 years old. That case stems from domestic travel.

Parson did not release any additional details about the second new case.

In all, 94 people have now been tested for COVID-19, and 90 of those test have come back negative.

He said he considered declaring the state of emergency “the next appropriate step to protect the public health” and stressed the move was not made because of concerns that the state’s health care system is overwhelmed or unprepared.

Parson’s executive order enacts Missouri’s emergency plan. It provides $7 million in state funds in addition to federal funds that Missouri is already receiving.

Parson said school administrators in Missouri should seek advice of local health officials before closing schools. He said that the decision should be made on the local level.

There is no statewide decision on limits on gatherings. The governor said that decision should come from local leaders.

The two previous cases were located in St. Louis County and in Springfield.

Missouri’s first coronavirus patient, a woman in her 20s, had recently returned from a study-abroad trip to Italy where the virus outbreak has been widespread.

The Springfield patient is in their 20s and had recently returned from Austria. The patient was tested at a clinic, is quarantined at home with mild symptoms and is expected to recover, Parson said.

No cases have been found of the virus spreading among the community in Missouri, he said Thursday.

Kansas has also declared a state of emergency, which came Thursday after the state’s first coronavirus death in Wyandotte County. There are five other cases in Kansas, four in Johnson County and one in Wichita.

The World Health Organization has labelled the coronavirus a pandemic and President Donald Trump has declared a national emergency.

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