JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri has hit its peak when it comes to COVID-19 hospitalizations, Governor Mike Parson said Tuesday.
Hospitalizations has been one of the primary factors the governor’s administration has been evaluating.
“The overall trend is the data shows that Missouri’s healthcare system is under control,” Parson said. “Our hospitals are not overwhelmed. And things are improving. Which is why we have made the decision to move forward and begin reopening Missouri on May 4.”
The governor said the St. Louis area is the only part of the state where hospitalization rates for COVID-19 patients have not dropped. The state health director said the first reported case in Missouri was in St. Louis County and believes that could be a factor.
“This is why we have to evaluate numbers locally and regionally, not just on a statewide scale,” Parson said.
Parson said there are more than 1,100 ventilators available statewide, not including the state’s stockpile. He continues to remind Missourians to use social distancing and good hygiene. In areas where restaurants are able to open, Gregory Hunsucker, the president of the Missouri Restaurant Association, says his members are ready.
“Moving forward, our tables with dining rooms will be socially distanced. We have worked with our employees to implement social distancing and many additional measures provide a safe environment for all Missourians,” he said.
The governor said between public and private labs, the state has the capacity to perform 50,000 tests if needed, though the actual total number of Missourians tested for COVID-19 thus far is slightly more than 70,000.