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Parson says 50,000 COVID-19 tests needed per week before reopening Missouri

The Governor said more than doubling Missouri's current testing rate will give him the 'data and confidence' to fully reopen the state.

ST. LOUIS — Thursday, Governor Mike Parson is expected to update his state-wide "stay at home" order that, for now, runs until April 24th in Missouri.

While Parson hasn't yet said what changes to the order he might announce, he did share with 5 On Your Side's Political Editor Casey Nolen some of what it will take before he's comfortable with Missouri going back to work. And that includes some lofty goals for testing.

Parson said different parts of the state, or different parts of the economy, may have to open in "different phases."

When, exactly, he said will be determined by data. And to get that information the state needs to get more COVID-19 test. A lot more. 

Parson said when the state can reach 40,000 to 50,000 tests a week, he'll have the "data and confidence" to fully reopen Missouri. That's more than double the state's current testing rate.

"But the reality of it is, even with the testing, it's gonna take months to kind of get through this," Parson said by remote interview from a studio in the state Capitol. 

"I think in the summertime I want to say things are going to start to open up a little bit more. I think each month, each week... is going to start opening up a little bit more. And, you know, I'm hoping by fall, for example, I'm hoping school can go back to normal," Parson said. 

So how do we go from 15,000 to 20,000 tests a week to 40,000 or 50,000 a week in Missouri?

The Governor said the state's federal delegation tells him by the end of the month tests should be a lot easier to get. 

You can watch our full interview with Governor Parson in the video player embedded in this story.

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