JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Governor Mike Parson signed an executive order Friday to begin mobilizing the Missouri National Guard to assist in the state’s response to COVID-19.
“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,” Governor Parson said in a news release.
According to the governor, the National Guard will help provide more immediate resources to Missouri citizens and enhance the state’s ability to overcome the outbreak.
“Governor Parson 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,” officials said.
According to Adjutant General Cumpton, the Guard will provide specialized health and safety training to all personnel that are being mobilized.
“The National Guard is ready and poised to assist local and state civilian authorities in response to COVID-19,” Brigadier General Levon Cumpton said in the news release. “The Guard has flexibility in utilizing resources and deploying them around the state where they are most appropriate.”
Governor Parson declared a state of emergency in Missouri on March 13.
As of Friday morning, nine people in Missouri have died of COVID-19.
St. Louis County officials said Thursday that the latest victim is a woman in her 80s with chronic medical conditions. The announcement came after Missouri health officials said the state had 502 confirmed cases of COVID-19, up from 356 on Wednesday.