Missouri governor issues state of emergency as COVID-19 cases rise to 4

Gov. Mike Parson
Posted at 4:25 PM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-13 19:15:29-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — In a news conference Friday night, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced that two more Missourians have tested positive for COVID-19, bringing the state's total to four cases.

Though Parson said he could not release additional information on the two new cases, the St. Louis County Department of Public Health late Friday said it was notified of a second presumptive-positive case in the area.

The second case in St. Louis is a "domestic travel-related case," the health department said. The patient is between 50 and 60 years old.

On March 7, St. Louis reported the first confirmed case of COVID-19, a woman in her 20s who had recently traveled abroad. The second case in St. Louis is not related to the first, according to the health department.

It was not immediately clear where the other new case in Missouri had occurred.

Parson said a total of 94 Missourians have been tested, with 90 of them coming back negative.

During the news conference, Parson said the state has opened up partnerships with the University of Missouri—Columbia and Washington University in St. Louis to expand the state's testing capabilities.

"We know testing has become a great concern," Parson said, adding that he hopes the university partnerships will increase the number of tests available into the thousands.

Parson also declared a state of emergency for Missouri, which he said will free up about $7 million in state funding to help give the state flexibility in how resources are utilized.

On Thursday, Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly issued a state of emergency for the state after a the death of a Wyandotte County man who was found positive for COVID-19.

President Donald Trump on Friday also declared a national state of emergency, a move that he said would free up $50 billion to fight the spread of the coronavirus.