JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri Gov. Mike Parson addressed the concerns over the recent rises in COVID-19 cases in the state, stressing this is not a surge or a second wave.
As of this afternoon, the state is reporting 18,577 cases and 966 deaths.
During this afternoon’s press conference, he also said there is no intention of closing Missouri back down at this point and time.
Gov. Parson says Missouri continues to monitor the numbers and remains confident that the state is on the road to recovery.
The state has ramped up testing over the last few weeks. Gov. Parson reminded Missourians that the more testing that is done, the more positive cases the state will see.
State officials say the recent outbreaks are in specific areas to box in the virus and prevent further spread. One of those outbreaks is at a Tyson processing plant in Southwest Missouri.
“As we opened up the state, we knew, and the Governor was insistent, that we be ready for outbreaks,” said Randall Williams, the Missouri Health Director.
Williams says because of the outbreaks, there is a lot of testing going on and the state has sent contact tracers down there to help. The CDC is also coming to the state to do an investigation to try and find the mode of transmission.
Williams said officials in other states have even called his office, asking what they are doing to keep the cases and hospitalizations low.
Gov. Parson says the positivity rate is 5.6%. He explained, the vast number of patients aren’t hospitalized, that more people are recovering, and that the state’s hospitals are not overwhelmed.
The Department of Higher Education and Work Force Development says there are signs the economy is coming back. However, officials are mindful that many people are still laid off and that some companies will not be able to hire everyone back.
The department’s Return Strong program was launched earlier this year to help strengthen the workforce and create opportunities. Officials say there have been about 1,000 participants and expect that to grow. They are also helping job centers open safely to help Missourians find work.