BREAKING: Gov. Parson addresses presumptive positive COVID-19 case

2 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago Saturday, March 07 2020 Mar 7, 2020 Saturday, March 07, 2020 7:03:00 PM CST March 07, 2020 in News
By: Juliana Tornabene and Jack Knowlton, KOMU 8 Digital Producers
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CLAYTON- Gov. Mike Parson held a press conference about the first presumptive positive COVID-19 case in Missouri Saturday night.

The patient is a women in her 20s who went to St. Louis urgent care with fever and respiratory issues. She recently returned to Missouri after studying abroad in Italy. She attends an out-of-state university, according to Gov. Parson.

The patient's parents told officials that she self quarantined at home as soon as she began to experience symptoms. Her parents are not reported as having symptoms and are being monitored.

Medical professionals ensured the hospital staff followed all CDC guidelines regarding treatment and testing from the patient's arrival until her release.

Gov. Parson reported the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory reported a presumptive positive test result for COVID-19 and forwarded the result to the CDC for confirmation.

A presumptive-positive test implies the test was confirmed positive by DHSS but has not yet been confirmed by the CDC.

Gov. Parson said he is confident officials will continue to take all steps necessary to protect the health and safety of Missourians. Parson also reported other cases are being tested.

"As of today DHSS has tested a total of 26 individuals for COVID-19, including this presumptive positive case. Three additional tests remain in progress," Parson said.

County Executive Sam Page reiterated the case was travel related. He also emphasized the importance of washing hands with soap and water, using hand sanitizer, and avoid others when sick.

Dr. Alok Sengupta says Mercyhealth has been preparing for COVID-19 for several months now. He was confident all medical professionals involved in treatment of the Missouri patient followed all procedures and had an extremely low risk of exposure.

"Each of our hospitals have had infection control teams that have been working with the health department closely to prepare for this," Sengupta said.

Rep. Ann Wagner who represents Missouri's second congressional district reported testing is going to be available at the state and local level, providing more direct testing for patients.

"As of yesterday 1.1 million tests had gone out to the states... [and] that an additional one million will be going out on Monday."

In an emailed statement, Speaker of the House Elijah Haahr, Speaker Pro Tem John Wiemann, and Majority Floor Leader Rob Vescovo expressed their support for quick action to fight the spread of the virus.

"We have the utmost trust in DHSS to handle this in a way that protects Missourians and will continue to look to Dr. Patterson and the Special Committee on Disease Control and Prevention to monitor the situation, so if needed, the legislature is ready to act quickly in a bipartisan way to prevent further spread throughout the state."

Johns Hopkins University provides real time, interactive international map that updates the locations and spread of the virus.

This is a developing story, we'll continue to update it as new information becomes available.

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