BREAKING: COVID-19 claims the life of Columbia area person

(Story updated with additional information from Missourinet’s Brian Hauswirth at the Statehouse in Jefferson City)

Gov. Mike Parson has announced today Missouri’s first death from the coronavirus. During a press conference this afternoon outside his Capitol office in Jefferson City, Parson says the casualty involves someone from the Columbia area in mid-Missouri.

The governor was joined at the press conference by Columbia Mayor Brian Treece and by MU Health Care chief clinical officer Dr. Stephen Witt.

“We mourn the loss of one of our community members,” Treece says.

Mayor Treece tells Capitol reporters the death involves the patient who tested positive Tuesday for coronavirus, and that it’s a travel-related case. He says the family placed a 911 call today to report a medical emergency.

Treece says first responders wore proper equipment, before making contact with the patient.

Mayor Treece says these six emergency responders were first isolated at University Hospital in Columbia, under medical supervision. They were screened for exposure, and the mayor says the six emergency responders are being quarantined in Boone County.

So far, at least 17 people have tested positive in Missouri for the respiratory illness. That count continues to climb as each day goes by.

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