Gov. Parson, state officials discuss coronavirus preparedness
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Mike Parson met with State Emergency Management Agency officials and other state leaders Tuesday to discuss the state's preparation for a possible coronavirus outbreak.
There are currently cases of COVID-19, commonly known as the coronavirus, in 14 states. There are no known cases in Missouri at this time.
"We are very well-prepared if a coronavirus outbreak were to happen in Missouri,” Governor Parson said. “Today’s briefing only expanded on our current preparations, and we will continue taking proactive steps to educate, inform, and protect the people of our state.”
While there are no confirmed cases, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services director Dr. Randall Williams said officials have tested 15 people for the virus.
“Over the past several weeks, our team has been collaborating with a robust network of response organizations to provide timely and accurate information in preparation for the possibility of a COVID-19 case in Missouri,” he said.
Dr. Williams said the risk to Missourians remains low. Both the Governor and Dr. Williams were repeatedly asked by reporters for more detail on the specific precautionary steps the state is taking.
The governor said he took part in a conference call with Vice President Mike Pence, who is heading up the White House's response to the outbreak on Monday. Parson said his administration has been working with federal officials to coordinate their response and preparations for the virus.
Parson said he will update statewide elected officials on preparations for the virus tomorrow. His office is also planning a briefing to update local officials throughout the state.