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Public officials, including Gov. Mike Parson, gather Thursday to announce the first presumptive positive case of the coronavirus in Springfield.
Photo courtesy Springfield-Greene County Health Department
Public officials, including Gov. Mike Parson, gather Thursday to announce the first presumptive positive case of the coronavirus in Springfield.

First local ‘presumptive positive’ case of coronavirus announced

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Gov. Mike Parson visited the Queen City yesterday to announce the first “presumptive positive” coronavirus case in Springfield.

The local case is travel-related and involves an individual who is in their 20s. The person recently traveled back to the United States from Austria, according to a news release. Parson made the announcement at a news conference with Mayor Ken McClure, Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director Clay Goddard and medical professionals.

Parson said the patient went to a CoxHealth site that wasn’t a hospital, and the specimen conducted by the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory has been sent to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for confirmation.

“I know there is a growing concern across the state and the nation right now,” Parson said at the news conference, which was livestreamed last night. “But I want to assure you that we are taking all steps necessary to protect the people of this state.”

Parson said the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory has tested 73 individuals for the coronavirus, or COVID-19. Two presumptive positive cases have been announced, including the first case on March 7 in St. Louis County. The first case has since been confirmed by the CDC, according to the release, and the Springfield case is awaiting confirmation. The St. Louis County case was confirmed by the CDC within two days, according to a report from KSDK.

The governor further added the two Missouri cases are both travel-related, noting community spread of the virus has not been documented in the state. The Missouri State Public Health Laboratory currently has the capacity to test 1,000 specimens, he said.

On the federal level, President Donald Trump today plans to declare a national emergency, according to NBC News.

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