Watch: Missouri Gov. Parson dispels rumors and releases latest COVID-19 case count

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services updated numbers of positive tests and deaths linked to COVID-19 during Governor Parson’s daily coronavirus briefing.

There are now 18 deaths and 1,581 cases in the state. There are four more deaths and 254 cases since Tuesday.

Gov. Parson says that the state is expecting a significant shortfall in budgets. The virus is having an unexpected effect on the economy. Missouri will be restricting 180 million in spending.

Officials warned about rumors spreading online. They want the public to know that the Missouri National Guard is only being used in medical efforts to fight the disease. They want the public get their news from credible sources. There are forces trying to divide people when the state should be coming together.

The Missouri National Guard posted this message to their Facebook page on March, 21:

We are hearing numerous rumors that the Missouri National Guard and the National Guard as a whole are supporting a nationwide quarantine. Let us be clear there has been no such discussion!

Please ignore any information regarding the Missouri National Guard that we do not specifically post here or in a press release. We are not handing out pamphlets, we are not distributing PDF files regarding martial law. Keep in mind there is a great deal of misinformation on the internet today.

These are challenging times we are living through today. But remember this, the Missouri National Guard works for the people of Missouri. Our main goal right now is to protect, serve and care for the members of our community while maintaining our readiness.

We are your sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, mothers, fathers and your grandchildren. We are you and you are us. We will always be here for you.

Missouri National Guard

Missouri Governor Mike Parson described on Tuesday some of the locations being studied as possible overflow sites in the event COVID-19 patients fill area hospitals.

Parson named  Kemper Arena, the Independence Event Center in Kansas City, the Edward Jones Dome and the America’s Center in St. Louis, the JQ Hammons Center and Arena in Springfield, the Leggett and Platt Arena in Joplin, the Show Me Center in Cape Girardeau and the Hearnes Center in Columbia as potential sites.

The governor also defended his decision to resist issuing a statewide stay-at-home order. 

“We look to see how many counties in the state of Missouri have a positive hit, and how many of multiple hits,” said Parson.  He said as of Tuesday there were 95 counties in the state with fewer than 5 cases.  He said part of his decision-making process involves the economic impact a shutdown would have on those communities.

Map of Missouri coronavirus cases:

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