Missouri’s governor announced Friday evening in Jefferson City that two more individuals have tested presumptive positive for coronavirus in Missouri.

Missouri Governor Mike Parson addresses Capitol reporters in Jefferson City, after he declared a state of emergency in Missouri for coronavirus (March 13, 2020 photo courtesy of the Governor’s office)

Governor Mike Parson made the announcement during a Statehouse press conference in his office, where he declared a state of emergency. The room was full of television cameras and reporters from across the state.

The governor did not provide specific details of the two additional cases during the press conference, because notifications were still underway. The governor’s office announced later in the evening that one of the two new individuals is a St. Louis County resident, between the ages of 50 and 60. The governor’s office says it’s a domestic travel-related case.

The details on the second new case have not been released yet.

Governor Parson and State Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) Director Dr. Randall Williams say 94 patients have now been tested for coronavirus in Missouri: 90 have tested negative. One has been confirmed positive by the Centers for Disease Control. That case involves a college student from the St. Louis suburb of Ladue.

Three have tested as “presumptive positive.” That includes the two new cases announced Friday evening. Governor Parson announced the third presumptive positive case during a Thursday Springfield news conference, saying it involves a Springfield resident in their 20’s who had recently traveled to Austria.

Governor Parson says his biggest responsibility is keeping all Missourians healthy and safe, telling Capitol reporters that his executive order declaring a state of emergency is the next appropriate step to protect public health.

“I also want to make it clear that the declaration is not intended to close public schools. Schools should seek the guidance of local health officials when thinking about closing their schools,” Parson says.

The governor also emphasizes that Missouri’s hospitals and health care professionals are prepared.

“I want to be clear that the declaration has not been made because we feel our current healthcare system is overwhelmed or unprepared,” says Parson.

He says the emergency declaration is aimed at allowing more flexibility to utilize resources and deploying them across the state, where they’re needed most.

Click here to read Governor Parson’s executive order.

Click here to watch Governor Mike Parson’s full press conference from March 13, 2020 at the Statehouse in Jefferson City.

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