Missouri’s governor said Tuesday in Jefferson City that the Show-Me State is well-prepared, if a coronavirus outbreak were to happen here.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson (at podium) and DHSS Director Dr. Randall Williams brief Capitol reporters about the coronavirus on March 3, 2020 in Jefferson City (photo courtesy of Governor Parson’s office)

Governor Mike Parson briefed Cabinet members and Capitol reporters at the State Emergency Management Center (SEMA) headquarters in Jefferson City, saying his greatest responsibility is keeping all Missourians healthy and safe.

“I want to assure you that we are doing all we can to meet these needs and help every community prepare for a potential coronavirus outbreak,” Parson says.

While there have been no confirmed cases in Missouri, the state Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) says about 100 people have been self-monitoring. About 80 people in Missouri have been evaluated by epidemiologists.

DHSS says it’s had fewer than 15 people under investigation, which includes testing.

Parson and DHSS Director Dr. Randall Williams continue to urge you to wash your hands frequently with soap and water, to protect yourself from coronavirus. Health officials also urge you to avoid touching your eyes and nose with unwashed hands.

DHSS has a full section about the issue, on its website.

During the press conference, Governor Parson also announced that he will brief Missouri’s statewide elected officials on Wednesday, about the state’s preparedness measures for coronavirus.

Parson says the state will continue to take proactive steps to educate, inform and protect Missourians.

“Right now, our main focus is on educating the public about the virus and the steps to prevent it,” says Parson. “Especially in prisons, nursing homes and mental health facilities.”

Parson, who participated in a conference call with Vice President Mike Pence and other governors this week, notes state health officials have been conducting daily briefings since January 27.

Dr. Williams testified Monday before the newly-created Missouri House Special Committee on Disease Control and Prevention.

Williams testifies that Missouri is well-prepared, and he also praises the preparation of Missouri’s health directors and providers. He says that he’s hoping for the best and preparing for the worst regarding the coronavirus.

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