Missouri to receive nearly 3 million rapid COVID tests; work on plan for vaccine distribution

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.- Nearly 3 million Abbot rapid COVID-19 tests will be arriving in Missouri soon. During an afternoon briefing, Gov. Mike Parson said the federal government will be shipping those tests.

Also, four of the new testing machines being built at Washington University will arrive at the state testing lab this week. The machines will then go to 4 locations across the state.

Gov. Parson says progress is also being made with the COVID-19 vaccine. Over the weekend, Pfizer asked the FDA to expand enrollment of its COVID-19 vaccine trial. Parson says the company hopes to know more by October.

Gov. Parson says the White House also has tasked states to develop a COVID distribution plan for vaccines.

Dr. Randall Williams, the director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, says the state has been working on that distribution plan.

Dr. Williams confirmed that the state did receive its CDC playbook from the state today. He explained the distribution will be a three-tiered approach.

Dr. Williams did say it appears COVID cases among those ages 18-24 seem to be pleateauing. He also said 60% of cases are now in outstate Missouri, not St. Louis or Kansas City. He said it is not necessarily rural communities, but they are keeping tabs on communities like Joplin and Cape Girardeau and similar sized ones.

Gov. Parson also said about 88% of public schools in the state are offering some sort of in-person learning. He said that represents about 75% of Missouri students. He hopes 100% of schools will offer an in-person option soon.

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