Missouri announces 1st coronavirus case in St. Louis County

Posted at 7:20 PM, Mar 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-07 22:04:48-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson addressed the first "presumptive-positive" coronavirus case in the state Saturday, a woman from the St. Louis area who recently traveled abroad.

State health officials announced that a St. Louis County woman in her 20s who recently traveled to Italy is the state's first coronavirus case.

The woman is isolated at home with family members, who also have been in isolation.

Parson said that the presumptive-positive results have been forwarded to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation.

"The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the St. Louis County health department are investigating the situation further," Parson said. "I am confident that they will continue to take all steps necessary to protect the health and safety of Missourians and Missouri communities."

The woman, who is not being identified to protect her privacy, had visited St. Louis-area health care providers recently with a fever and breathing problems.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has tested 26 people for COVID-19, including the St. Louis County woman. Three tests still are in progress.

Spring Schmidt, co-director of St. Louis County Department of Public Health, stressed the importance of taking preventive measures Saturday in a new release.

“We understand that there is serious concern about this virus and the potential escalation surrounding positive cases in our community,” Schmidt said. "Our Department, local public health and local public safety agencies are working closely with state and federal agencies to quickly identify and respond to cases that might occur. We can't stress the importance of taking protective measures enough.”

In a statement released following Parson's announcement, Sen. Roy Blunt said that there is "no need to panic" and that Parson and St. Louis County Executive Sam Page are "well prepared."

"Yesterday, the president signed emergency funding legislation that will make resources immediately available to state and local health agencies," Blunt said in the statement. "Under the law, Missouri will receive at least $9.9 million to support response efforts, including additional test kits, protective equipment, and other necessary supplies. I will remain in touch with Governor Parson, Dr. Page, and local officials to ensure they have what they need to respond.”

County Executive Sam Page and other medical professionals will speak at the conference.