JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
Missouri officials have ordered $10 million worth of N95 masks to help local health care workers and first responders during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Watch video of the news conference in the player below.
Sandy Karsten, the head of the Department of Public Safety, said during an online news conference from the Capitol on Tuesday that the state has bought 4.2 million N95 masks. Karsten said the need for personal protective equipment is the biggest issue her department is hearing from local agencies.
Kasten said the state by Tuesday afternoon had ordered $17.3 million worth of personal protective equipment from various sources. The purchases were based on requests from local health care providers and first responders.
She warned COVID-19 will have a more sweeping effect on the state than any previous disaster.
Zora Mulligan, commissioner of higher education, said higher education institutions have donated personal protective equipment to first responders and helped provide food for the needy. Colleges and universities around the state are shut down to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
University of Missouri Health Care is also administering hundreds of COVID-19 tests per day, she said.
The state of Missouri reported on its website devoted to COVID-19 developments Tuesday that the state has 183 confirmed cases and 227 total positives. The reason for the discrepancy was not clear. ABC 17 News has contacted officials for more information.
Boone County officials have reported 20 positive COVID-19 tests with one death. County and Columbia city officials on Tuesday issued a stay-at-home order.