Gov. Parson assures state is prepared for coronavirus 

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JEFFERSON CITY, MO – Missouri Governor Mike Parson says communicating factual information about the coronavirus is the best way to help prevent the spread and keep Missourian’s safe.  He met with state cabinet members and officials with the State Emergency Management Agency on Tuesday.  The meeting came one day after a special House committee formed by Speaker Elijah Haahr heard testimony from the state’s health director.

“I am confident telling you that Missouri is ready if an outbreak were to happen in our state,” Parson told reporters after the meeting.

The Governor said the meeting was part of ongoing efforts to educate, inform and protect the public.  Health officials have said they do not expect to see an outbreak in Missouri but believe it’s important for the state to be prepared.  

Department of Health and Senior Services Director Dr. Randall Williams said federal money is expected to soon help provide for more testing opportunities.  Williams said 15 individuals in Missouri have been tested so far and none has tested positive.

Williams said patients who experience shortness of breath along with a fever and cough should contact their health care provider.  He said the provider will work with their local health department and the CDC to determine if testing is needed.

Officials continue to stress the importance of handwashing and staying away from individuals who are sick.  The Missouri Department of Corrections is asking anyone who is sick to avoid visiting someone who is incarcerated because of the closed quarters of a prison.

Individuals most likely at risk of getting sick from the virus are those over the age of 65 and those with chronic illnesses.  Anyone who shows signs of being infected should stay away from others for a period of two weeks from when they started feeling ill.

Parson said he planned on meeting with statewide elected officials on Wednesday and will be communicating with mayor’s and local officials as well.  

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