The latest state data released today shows at least 1031 people have tested positive in Missouri for the coronavirus – up from 903 positive cases confirmed yesterday. Thirteen coronavirus related deaths have been reported. Western Missouri’s Lafayette County recorded its first death tied to the respiratory disease.

About 15,645 patients have been tested by a public or private lab.

Gov. Mike Parson (Photo courtesy of Governor’s Flickr page)

During a Capitol press briefing today, Gov. Mike Parson says some estimates show Missouri could peak mid-April in its case count of people testing positive for COVID-19.

“I think we’re still 60, 90 days away of getting through this virus and that’s kind of a best case scenario,” says Parson. “But I do look somewhere between the middle of April. I think we’re going to be able to get some new information, new statistics, I hope so to be able to do that and hope we start turning the corner. But the reality of it is, I think we’ve got to all realize that this is going to be a long-term and I don’t want to give false hope to anybody.”

Many Missourians cooped up in their homes got out to a state park over the weekend to get some fresh air and enjoy the weather. But word has gotten out that some were not keeping their social distance. Parson says he is considering whether to close state parks.

“A little disappointing of what happened over the weekend at some of the state parks. We’re trying to leave facilities like that open for the general public, but unfortunately people didn’t abide by the rules. We’re talking about the social distancing,” says Parson. “So, we’re going to make that decision. We’re in discussions about that right now, whether we close those parks down or not.”

The rules the governor is referring to include remaining six feet apart and limiting gatherings to no more than 10 people. Parson says he plans to expand his social distancing order.

“You know I think it’s just a matter of where we move that timeframe to,” says Parson. “Again, you know I’m thinking we’re at least 30-60 days away from any kind of lifting any orders, but we’re evaluating that daily.”

His current order expires April 6.

Jennifer Tidball, acting director of the Missouri Department of Social Services (Photo courtesy of Governor’s Flickr page)

Several announcements were made during today’s press briefing. Many of them were reminders for those who watch the daily briefings but perhaps new to those not following the state’s coronavirus response as closely. Two new announcements deal with daycare providers and doctors.

The state is making a temporary payment to Missouri’s roughly 2,400 childcare centers receiving subsidies. Jennifer Tidball, acting director of the Missouri Department of Social Services, says the decision is in response to many providers being closed during the coronavirus outbreak.

“We will be making a temporary payment through our Department of Social Services childcare subsidy payments to ensure that providers receive no less amount for March services or services through the emergency timeframe than what they received as an average payment for December, January and February,” she says at today’s press briefing.

Tidball wants providers to pass on some of the funding to their workers to help maintain their employment when the businesses reopen.

Department of Commerce and Insurance Director Chlora Lindley-Myers (Photo courtesy of Governor’s Flickr page)

Meanwhile, Missouri is letting doctors and surgeons licensed in other states care for patients here in person or through telehealth options during the pandemic. Department of Commerce and Insurance Director Chlora Lindley-Myers says the decision applies to those who have not had their active licenses disciplined.

“By having this access granted to additional providers, we increase our ability to meet the needs of Missouri patients who are being tested and treated for COVID-19,” she says.

Missouri RNs and LPN’s are already allowed to practice in person or through telehealth in their home state and 32 other states.

Effective immediately, Parson has also temporarily waived the regulation requiring that a collaborating physician and an advanced practice registered nurse be within 75 miles of each other.

You can watch the entire briefing is below.

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