JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has enlisted the Missouri National Guard to help increase COVID-19 testing across the state. Parson's goal is to test 7,500 people per day.
"They are mission-driven and when you tell them to charge the hill, they’re going to charge the hill. At the top of the hill is testing," Parson said during his briefing Wednesday afternoon.
Guardsmen and guardswomen can help increase testing capabilities by building testing sites.
"I cannot stress enough how important this is for us to move forward," he said. "Testing and economic recovery go hand in hand."
Missouri National Guard Brigadier General Levon Cumpton said guardsmen and guardswomen are currently helping in COVID-19 relief efforts. They perform medical screenings at state government buildings, help with food distribution and staff the alternate care site in Florissant.
Parson said he wants to target nursing homes and "hotspots" in the state.
The state also launched a new dashboard to provide COVID-19 data.
"The data you’re going to see has to do only with Missouri," Parson said. "It’s not about projections, it’s not about guesswork. It’s about what’s real and what’s not in this state."
There have been a total of 11,232 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the state since the pandemic began and 631 people have died, according to the state's website.
The state is currently in phase one of its "Show Me Strong" Recovery Plan, allowing all businesses across the state to reopen if local leaders agree.