JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Governor Mike Parson has tested positive for COVID-19, state officials said Wednesday.
Earlier in the day, the governor’s office announced First Lady Teresa Parson had tested positive, prompting the governor to cancel several scheduled events and get tested as well.
The first lady had shown mild symptoms for an unspecified amount of time and was given a rapid test Wednesday morning.
Gov. Parson’s rapid test came back positive about an hour later.
As of Wednesday afternoon, a spokesperson for the governor’s office said the governor feels healthy and isn’t showing any symptoms.
Governor Parson will continue to conduct state business from the governor’s mansion while adhering to all safety protocols.
The first lady is isolating at the couple’s home in Bolivar.
The governor was scheduled to debate State Auditor Nicole Galloway on Friday. Galloway is challenging Parson in the upcoming November election. The debate will be rescheduled.
Galloway issued a statement wishing the governor and first lady a full recovery.
Dr. Randall Williams, the Director of Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, said in an afternoon press conference that when he told the first lady and governor of their results, their first concern was for those they were around recently.
Williams said contact tracing efforts had started and his department was working with the governor’s and first lady’s staffers to determine close contacts and who needs to be in quarantine.
Williams explained close contact are those that spent at least 15 minutes with either of the Parsons and were within six feet of them. He said there will be a small number of people that meet that requirement.
Meanwhile, a number of elected state officials were with the governor over the weekend. Lt. Governor Mike Kehoe, Attorney General Eric Schmitt, and Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick all tested negative for COVID. Missouri Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft did not plan on being tested.
Parson is not the only US governor to test positive for COVID. In July, Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt became the first governor to contract coronavirus. Ohio Governor Mike DeWine had a false-positive scare in August.