JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KFVS) - The Missouri governor gave an update on Thursday after testing positive for COVID-19 the day before.
As of Thursday, Governor Mike Parson said he feels healthy and the first lady’s symptoms remained mild.
As a precautionary measure, Governor’s Office staff, governor’s mansion staff and security have been tested and are awaiting results. All staff that have been in close contact with the governor and first lady continue to work remotely.
Other close contacts of the governor and first lady are being identified and the governor’s office is working closely with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the Cole County Health Department on contact tracing efforts.
Staff that have not been identified as a close contact of the governor or first lady continue to work in the office.
All official and campaign events have been canceled until further notice.
Governor Mike Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson announced they tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday, September 23.
Out of an abundance of caution, the first lady was tested on Wednesday morning after displaying mild symptoms. The governor was then tested as well and received a positive result.
They say proper safety protocols have been implemented at the direction of Dr. Randall Williams, Director of the Department of Health and Senior Services.
During this time, Governor Parson continues to conduct and fulfill all roles of businesses of the state of Missouri from the Governor’s Mansion without interruption.
Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, will held a news conference at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, September 23.
On Tuesday, September 22, Governor Mike Parson signed House Bill 66 at the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff’s Office. First Lady Teresa Parson was also there for the signing.
According to Cape Girardeau County Sheriff Ruth Ann Dickerson, they were notified directly by the governor’s office on Wednesday about Gov. Parson’s positive test.
“We have alerted everyone who attended,” she said.
Sheriff Dickerson said no more than a half-dozen sheriff’s office employees attended the event.
When asked what kind of contact the governor had at the sheriff’s office during his visit, Sheriff Dickerson said: “The governor came through the garage, which leads directly into our training room.”
She said he did not walk anywhere else in the building.
Moving forward, the sheriff said they are taking the necessary steps the health department advised them to take. She said they are not quarantining at this time, but are offering it to employees if they choose.
We asked if she was personally concerned about her exposure.
“You are going to be exposed no matter where you go or what you do and we have a job to do, so we are going to continue doing it,” she said.
Jackson Police Chief James Humphreys said he was never in close proximity to the governor; that he stood behind him, but did not shake his hand, and was never close to the first lady.
The chief said no other members of his department were at the event.
He said he plans to carry on, wear his mask, wash his hands and monitor himself for any symptoms. He also said he washed his hands before and after the event.
The governor and first lady also made an appearance at the LUCE Charleston Outreach Center on Tuesday.
According to the communications specialist with Charleston schools, no one from the school district came in close contact with the governor at the outreach center. He said everyone from the school kept their distance and wore masks.
According to the Lincoln University Cooperative Extension Regional Coordinator, Brenda Robinson-Echols, the university took extra precautions.
“One of the staff was taking temperatures as individuals entered the meeting. Hand sanitizer was available, as well as disposable masks,” Robinson-Echols said. “The seats were at least 6-feet apart. Everyone wore masks the entire time. The governor only removed his mask when he began to speak.”
Governor Parson, 65, is facing Democratic State Auditor Nicole Galloway in the November election. The two were supposed to debate Friday in a forum hosted by the Missouri Press Association, but it has been postponed, said Mark Maassen, executive director of the association. He said the forum will be rescheduled.
Galloway posted a statement on Facebook regarding Parson’s positive test.
On Tuesday, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported a total of 116,946 cases of COVID-19 in the state.
The seven-day percent positive of PCR tested individuals in Missouri on Wednesday was 11.4 percent.