KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The number of patients tested for coronavirus in Missouri will expand by the thousands in the next two weeks, according to Gov. Mike Parson.
The governor and Mayor Quinton Lucas are working together to improve the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
So far the Missouri Department of Health has tested 170 patients for coronavirus. Only six of those tests have come back positive. The latest Monday is a patient in southwest Missouri.
State testing has been limited to only those patients who physicians deem to be most at risk. Dr. Randall Williams, Missouri’s Health Director, says that by April 1, the state will test anyone who has a fever of more than 100.4 degrees accompanied by a cough.
Missouri is planning to roll out mobile testing sites over the next two weeks and expects to be able to test 6,000 people a week.
“We have to save our tests in the next two weeks for those who are the most critically ill for the state lab,” Dr. Williams said. “We have the most stringent criteria.”
Dr. Williams says a commercial lab in Lee’s Summit, Mo., currently can process 1,000 coronavirus tests a day.
Those tests can be arranged through a health care provider.
The governor says the state also is working to provide personal protective equipment to first responders in Missouri because police and other emergency workers currently lack this gear.
The city’s health director is meeting with the mayor Monday to discuss imposing capacity limits on bars and restaurants, instead of the 50 person limit.
Other cities have restricted establishments to half or a quarter of their occupancy limits.
Kansas City may take similar action Monday afternoon.