JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KFVS) - Governor Mike Parson gave an update on the state’s COVID-19 response on Thursday, May 21 at 3 p.m.
Governor Parson said the box-in strategy will focus on congregate living facilities, long-term care facilities specifically, with a target of about 1,850 tests per day.
In Missouri, there have been a total of 163 long-term care facilities with at least one positive case confirmed in a resident, staff or both.
He said the goal is to execute facility-wide testing to identify and isolate additional positive cases as quickly as possible.
The goal is to perform testing on vulnerable populations in state-operated facilities across 28 counties, specifically those overseen by the Department of Corrections, Department of Mental Health, Department of Social Services and the Missouri Veterans Commission.
The governor said the testing target is approximately 1,440 tests per day over a 10-day period. Performing sentinel testing in these facilities will identify and isolate not only symptomatic individuals, but also asymptomatic individuals to keep them from unknowingly spreading the virus within the facility.
Community sampling has already been completed in 13 counties. The state will target six more, including some in the Heartland, over the next 10 days. They set a daily testing goal of approximately 975 tests per day.
During the briefing, Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, said surveillance testing in Cape Girardeau, Pemiscot and New Madrid Counties next week. He said you don’t have to live in the counties to get the surveillance testing.
According to Jane Wernsman, director of the Cape Girardeau Public Health Center, they are working with the city to establish a sampling testing site. It will be on June 5 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
She said it will be conducted by members of the National Guard. it is open to any resident in Missouri and is free.
Dr. Randall Williams also said there would be more extensive testing in Perry County.
The state of Missouri launched a new COVID-19 online dashboard to provide up-to-date data on virus cases.
The dashboard compiles information on case demographics, by county, testing, deaths and hospitalization.
On Thursday, May 21, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported 11,340 positive cases of COVID-19 in the state and 661 deaths.
At least 161,984 individuals have been tested for the virus in Missouri.