JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The actions of law enforcement and protesters resulted in a "peaceful" night across the state, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said during his briefing Wednesday afternoon.
"I want to thank all the local law enforcement officers for their efforts to protect Missourians and maintain law and order," Parson said. "I also want to thank all the protesters for honoring the curfews and going home after dark."
He specifically mentioned his meeting with St. Louis civic leaders Tuesday, saying their messaging contributed to a calm night.
"The clergy, the Urban League and the activists for their leadership and supporting a peaceful evening."
Parson said he will continue to meet with African-American leaders across the state to continue the dialogue.
"That's why it's important to meet with the African-American community right now and try to not only say, yes, we know there's a problem, but what are we gonna do for the endgame? What are we gonna do to try to change things in this state?"
"These are tough times for our state and our nation, but we will get through this together."
Parson also addressed the state's response to COVID-19. Testing has increased, with the state averaging 8,000 tests per day. One day last week, 11,000 tests were performed.
Also, the positivity rate of the tests is hovering around 6.5%, down from about 10% at the height of the pandemic.
"Our hospitals are not overwhelmed, our positively rate continues to decline," he said. "Even as Missouri recovers and moves forward with COVID-19, testing will continue to be our priority."
Despite that positive data, Parson said he is not considering moving into the next phase of reopening. He will make that decision on or before June 15.
"You've got the protests going on out there," he said. "There's risk involved in that. We just need to see we're ready for a little bit."
As of June 3, there have been 13,575 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state and 783 deaths since the pandemic began, according to the state's website.
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