Gov. Mike Parson on Wednesday outlined the benefits of increased COVID-19 tests being conducted across the state and said Missouri is beginning to recover from the initial impact of the virus.
Parson said the state reached a record number of daily tests conducted at 11,621 on May 26. Since then, he said the state has averaged 8,000 tests per day, breaking its goal of conducting 7,500 tests per day.
He emphasized the importance of testing and said the state focuses on the positive rate of tests conducted instead of the raw positive case numbers. As testing increases, the positive rate for COVID-19 has decreased from about 10% to 6.4% now, he said.
“Again, I will stress and keep stressing that testing is so important for the future of our state, to get the economy back, get people back to work, to get the businesses open – it will all rely on testing,” Parson said.
Parson also highlighted the importance of hospitalization numbers, as they have also begun to decrease. Parson noted hospitalizations have decreased by 40% overall.
Earlier in the day, Parson met with Columbia leaders Wednesday to discuss COVID-19 testing, the economy, recent budget cuts to education and the ongoing protests.
According to one of the meeting’s attendees, MU spokesperson Christian Basi, the meeting had 12-15 people attending and lasted just under one hour.
Those attending included Police Chief Geoff Jones, Mayor Brian Treece, members of the clergy, education leaders and local legislators.
Parson said he plans similar visits with leaders from around the state in the coming days.
Boone County is beginning to see the impact of the increased testing with open COVID-19 testing occurring at Hickman High School on Monday and Tuesday.
Boone County on Wednesday reported its second death from COVID-19 and nine new cases for a total of 162 cases.
Also at the briefing, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Director Randall Williams addressed the recent controversy with one confirmed COVID-19 case visiting Lake of the Ozarks during Memorial Day weekend.
“They did the case contacts for the patient, and so Camden County, which was the prime number one county, has not seen any more positives,” Williams said. “And now that’s been a good while ago, 10 days, 11 days.”