JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri is about two weeks away from being able to provide antibody tests, Department of Health & Senior Services Director Randall Williams said at a Thursday news conference.

He said he expects the state to be able to test 175 people per day for COVID-19 antibodies.

The test detects the body’s immune response to the virus and could serve as protection against it, according to the Food and Drug Administration.

Williams said he would expect statewide antibody tests to show that about 5% of Missouri residents had the antibodies.

Missouri DHSS confirmed 6,321 cases of COVID-19 and 218 deaths from the virus as of Thursday afternoon.

With the statewide stay-at-home order set to expire May 3, Gov. Mike Parson said he would provide guidelines for reopening businesses at his Friday news briefing.

During a meeting with reporters Thursday at the Capitol, Parson also addressed the issue of child care for parents returning to work who had previously relied on in-person schools, which will be closed through the remainder of the school year.

“We knew when schools started shutting down that we’d have to face that day care situation,” he said.

Parson mentioned federal funding for child care programs. The federal CARES Act includes $3.5 billion for child care.

“Whatever it takes to get people back into the workforce, if day care is part of that plan, we’re going to look at that all day long,” Parson said. “What we want to do is have enough tools in the toolbox to put people back to work and get the economy going.”

For more COVID-19 related news, see our section dedicated to COVID-19 updates.
  • I'm an assistant city editor. This is my junior year at MU, where I study investigative reporting and political science. Interests include local journalism, breakfast food and good books. Email with any story tips.

  • Galen Bacharier is a reporter and assistant city editor at the Missourian. He has previously reported on state government and higher education. Reach him at or on Twitter @galenbacharier.

  • Mark Horvit is the state government editor. Call me at 817-726-1621 with story ideas, tips or complaints.

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