Missouri Gov. Mike Parson shares 'encouraging' COVID-19 rates, despite federal report

Posted at 5:23 PM, Sep 16, 2020

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson touted decreasing COVID-19 rates in the state, despite a White House report indicating Missouri still is in the “red zone.”

The federal report ranks Missouri as fourth, when looking at 100 new coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents. Previously, the state was ranked seventh.

“The reality of it is I'm going to trust the Missouri data that I have in front of me with the experts here in Missouri, with the doctors here with the hospital association,” Parson said Wednesday during a media briefing. “We know what our hospital capacities are. We know what our fatality rate is.”

And those numbers, according to Parson, are stabilizing in Missouri.

“We know that that younger generation of 18 to 24 [year olds] spike these numbers up,” he said. “We all know that that counts for about a third of what's going on here. But all of that has to be taken into consideration of where we're at.”

As of Wednesday, more than 13,000 of the state's COVID-19 cases were attributed to those 20 to 24 years old, according to state data. 41 Action News data shows that Missouri has reported nearly 110,000 cases and nearly 1,900 deaths since March.

But Missouri’s seven-day positivity rate for COVID-19 decreased to 12.2%, according to Parson.

He also said that while the 18- to 24-year-old demographic is the highest age group for positive coronavirus cases, that is “decreasing as well.” Virus-related deaths also are “showing a downward trend,” according to the governor.

Hospitalizations remain stable, he said, and the cumulative death rate is 1.6%.

“This is all very encouraging,” Parson said.

The governor said the state has tried to take a “balanced approach” to the coronavirus pandemic since it began in March.

“We’re going to continue to do that moving forward,” Parson said. “You know this virus is here. We're going to have to be working every day to do what we can to keep people safe

He also expects Missouri to receive 3 million rapid COVID-19 tests, of the 150 million that the federal government is expected to provide to states by the end of the year.