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Missouri Gov. Parson outlines plans to increase COVID-19 testing across the state

Parson said his administration just delivered 9,000 testing kits to the St. Louis area

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — COVID-19 testing will be ramped up across the state starting next week, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said during his briefing Thursday afternoon.

"The more testing we do, the more knowledge we have on what the situation in Missouri actually looks like and the better equipped to move forward," he said.

Parson said his administration has delivered 9,000 testing kits to the St. Louis area and another 9,000 kits will be delivered next week.

He said the state will focus on three testing strategies: boxed-in, community sampling and sentinel testing.

The boxed-in approach will focus largely on congregate living facilities like nursing homes and assisted living communities. There are 163 facilities across the state that have had at least one positive confirmed case of COVID-19, Parson said. The goal is to test 1,850 people per day at such facilities and identify and isolate the cases as quickly as possible.

With community sampling, the state will set up testing sites in specific counties throughout the state with a goal of testing 975 people per day. 

"Anyone who wants to get tested will have the ability to do so," Parson said.

Sentinel testing applies to state-owned facilities including prisons and mental health facilities. The goal is to test 1,440 per day, including those without symptoms.

The state's goal of testing about 4,000 people per day is in addition to the 3,500 to 4,000 tests performed by hospitals and other health care providers — for a total goal of testing 7,500 people per day.

There have been 11,340 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the state and 661 deaths as of May 21, according to the state's website.

Parson said the testing will mainly be funded through the CARES Act.

The governor also urged caution and social distancing as people prepare to celebrate Memorial Day weekend.

He will not hold a briefing on Friday or next Monday. The next briefing is scheduled for Tuesday, May 26.

RELATED: Missouri National Guard to help ramp up COVID-19 testing

Thursday Briefing Regarding COVID-19

Thursday Briefing Regarding COVID-19

Posted by Governor Mike Parson on Thursday, May 21, 2020

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