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Missouri Gov. Parson is 'cautiously optimistic' about health care system's capacity

State officials said they do not expect critical shortages of ICU beds or ventilators
Credit: AP
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson, center, announces that the state experienced its first death from the coronavirus, Wednesday, March 18, 2020, during a news conference in Jefferson City, Mo, Columbia Mayor Brian Treece is at right. (AP Photo/David A. Lieb)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Governor Mike Parson said the state's health care systems have stabilized and he feels more optimistic about reopening the state for business. 

"We are seeing stabilization in the healthcare system," Parson said during his daily coronavirus briefing on Monday.

As of Monday, there are 5,845 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 195 people have died. More than 56,000 people have been tested so far.

RELATED: St. Louis area tops 4,000 cases as Missouri reports small increase in COVID-19 patients

"The good news is the capacity of the health care system to respond to this unprecedented event has expanded dramatically and our data indicates that if good social distancing practices continue, that Missouri will not see a critical shortage of ICU beds or ventilators," said MO HealthNet Director Todd Richardson.

Dr. Randall Williams, the head of the Missouri's health and senior services department, said the state is working on increasing testing capability. He added the state could have antibody tests within the next couple weeks.

Parson announced his administration is working to reduce expenditures by $47 million across various state agencies to ensure the state's budget is balanced and there is still funding for issues related to COVID-19.

A "Reopen Missouri" protest is scheduled for April 21 near the capitol building. The state is under a stay-at-home order through May 3. 

Last week, Parson outlined the state's plan to rebuild the state's economy, which is called the Show Me Strong Recovery Plan.

St. Louis and St. Louis County are under stay-at-home orders until further notice.

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