JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.
Gov. Mike Parson said Missouri is prepared a possible outbreak of COVID-19 in the state.
"I am confident telling you, Missouri is ready if an outbreak were to happen in our state," Parson said Tuesday.
Parson met with the State Emergency Management Agency and other government officials to discuss the worldwide outbreak of COVID-19, commonly known as coronavirus.
The state's main focus is educating the public about the virus and how to prevent it, especially in prisons, nursing homes and mental health facilities.
This comes one day after state health officials briefed Missouri House members on the virus response.
There are no confirmed cases in the state. However, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Director Dr. Randall Williams said approximately 100 people are monitoring themselves for symptoms in Missouri and at least 80 have been evaluated by epidemiologists because of their travel history.
Williams briefed the governor on the virus and the state’s precautionary measures. The department has been taking steps to prepare for a potential outbreak since the end of January.
"As Missourians ask me what should we do: practice situational awareness, wash your hands," Williams said. "If you are feeling symptomatic get diagnosed, wear a mask if you are symptomatic, masks don't work if you don't have it."
Williams said the main purpose of Tuesday's briefing was to let state officials know what is happening at a federal level, most importantly about funding.
The governor and the Department of Health and Senior Services have been working with the federal government to secure funding for local health agencies, which Williams said are the front lines of limiting the spread of the virus.
As for the economy, Parson believes Missouri won't feel the impact as hard as some other parts of the nation and the world.
"I think we've already seen a recovery seeing signs of that with the recovery, we saw it recovering," Parson said. "The biggest thing we can do is get the communication right, that people understand the facts of the issue and how it does affect us."
Parson is set to meet with more elected state officials Wednesday to discuss the state's plan for an outbreak.