Missouri governor says 100,000s of rapid COVID-19 test are headed to Missouri

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — It’s been one week since Gov. Mike Parson and his wife, First Lady Teresa Parson, tested positive for COVID-19.

The governor hosted his weekly COVID-19 update Wednesday, Sept. 30, but from isolation inside the Governor’s Mansion. Reporters were not allowed inside and had to watch the brief via Facebook Live.

Gov. Parson said he and his wife are feeling fine and plan to return to their regular schedules on Monday, Oct. 5.

“As you can see, I’m still working here from the Governor’s Mansion,” Gov. Parson said. “I’m feeling good and still having no symptoms. Teresa is home in Bolivar, and she is doing very well and is no longer having symptoms.”

Gov. Parson and his wife are among the hundreds of thousands of Missourians who have tested positive for the virus.

“You have to deal with it, and you have to keep moving forward,” Gov. Parson said. “You have to do everything you can to protect other people.”

When asked what he learned from testing positive for COVID-19, The governor said life goes on.

“You always think it’s going to happen to somebody else and all of a sudden, it happens to you, and you’re in that situation and have to deal with it,” Gov. Parson said.

As for testing, the governor said the salvia-based test from Washington University (Wash U) in St. Louis will help expand laboratory capacity.

“In addition to the testing machine that will be housed at Wash U, the state purchased four additional testing machines, which we will be distributing using a regional-based approach,” Gov. Parson said.

Gov. Parson said regions like southwest, southeast and central Missouri, along with Kansas City will receive the machines.

“This is a very technical piece of equipment that will require proper infrastructure and trained personnel in order to operate,” Gov. Parson said.

President Donald Trump announced 150 rapid COVID-19 tests would be distributed to states across the country. The governor said Wednesday, Sept. 30, Missouri will receive 120,000 of those rapid Abbott tests by the end of the week and two million of them by the end of the year.

“We recently reached a new peak for PCR testing with over 122,000 tests during the week of Sept. 14,” Parson said.

The governor said the state is also working on a plan to distribute a vaccine when it’s ready.

“Missouri was awarded $3.2 million from the CDC for planning implantation,” Gov. Parson said.

As for COVID liability, the governor said it’s up to lawmakers to put a plan in place for a discussion.

“We are going to have a liability issue, we are going to bring in people to deal with COVID-19, which I think we should,” Gov. Parson said. “It’s going to take the House of Representatives and the Senate to have a plan in place to be able to execute that in a very timely manner.”

Instead, Gov. Parson said he believes a special session about the supplemental budget will come first.

“Simply to make sure that if we get more federal money that we have the ability to use that money when it gets here,” Parson said.

This Saturday, Oct. 3, was supposed to be the annual Parson Family Fall Festival at the Governor’s Mansion, but that event has been postponed. Parson says the couple will host a Halloween event later in October. The event will be outside, masks will be available and social distancing will be followed.

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