Missouri health officials have been diverting more resources to COVID-19 testing across the state.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) logo (image courtesy of DHSS)

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services’ (DHSS) latest report highlights the health battle the department is facing on multiple fronts, from the deadly coronavirus pandemic to both flu and pneumonia.

DHSS confirms to Missourinet that the Missouri State Public Health Lab has temporarily suspended routine flu testing, to divert resources to COVID-19 testing.

This has been a deadly flu season in Missouri, and there have now been 112,965 lab-positive influenza cases in the state this season.

There have been 78 flu-associated deaths in Missouri, so far this season. DHSS says there have been 1,541 pneumonia and flu deaths in Missouri together this season, with pneumonia being the largest killer, by far.

Missouri has seen 13 flu outbreaks, since last fall.

The department’s importance has been highlighted daily at Governor Mike Parson’s media briefings on COVID-19, where DHSS Director Dr. Randall Williams frequently joins the governor.

DHSS says there are now 7,562 confirmed coronavirus cases in Missouri, along with 329 deaths.

Governor Parson says that as Missouri prepares to reopen on Monday, expanding COVID-19 testing capacity is one of the four essential pillars of the state’s “Show Me Strong Recovery”

The governor has also called for expanding the reserves of personal protective equipment (PPE) by opening public and private supply chains.

Governor Parson says between the state health lab and at least 15 private labs and participating health care institutions, about 50,000 tests could be performed each week.

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