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Missouri Government Actions on Covid-19 Updated 5/26/2020

Today’s update discusses:

  • Large crowds at the Lake of the Ozarks over the holiday weekend
  • A travel advisory issued by St. Louis County
  • The launch of “community sampling” in different counties across the state
  • Changes being made to the state’s online COVID-19 data dashboard
  • An interview with Governor Parson, Margie Vandeven, and Alex Garza regarding COVID-19 updates and the state’s plan moving forward


  • Many visitors to the Lake of the Ozarks crowded bars, clubs, and pools over the holiday weekend, according to local news reports and social media posts. Despite signs encouraging social distancing, crowds gathered. Researchers are concerned that states like Missouri--with few restrictions on residents--will experience a second wave of COVID-19 infections later this year.


  • St. Louis County Executive Sam Page has asked the Department of Public Health to issue a travel advisory in response to crowds gathering during the holiday weekend. The Department of Public Health has urged anyone who did not practice social distancing guidelines to self-quarantine for two weeks or until they receive negative test results. In addition, the Department is recommending that employers screen employees before allowing them to return to work.


  • To meet the goal of 7,500 tests a day, several counties across the state will participate in “community sampling.” The plan is to test roughly 10,000 people over a 10-day span in participating counties. According to a news release by the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services, “[c]ommunity sampling gives the state a better sense of COVID-19 prevalence in a given area, which will help guide its response and ease uncertainty for Missourians.” As mentioned in an earlier update, testing in Missouri is now open to anyone; the only requirement is that the individual is a Missouri resident. The following locations will conduct community sampling:
    • Boone County
      • June 1-2, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Hickman High School, Columbia
    • Cape Girardeau County
      • June 5, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Arena Park, Cape Girardeau
    • Greene County
      • June 4-5, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Ozark Empire Fairgrounds, Springfield
    • Jackson County
      • May 26-30, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Silverstein Eye Center Arena, Independence
    • Jefferson County
      • June 1-2, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Faith Community Church, House Springs
      • June 3, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., Hillsboro Civic Center, Hillsboro
    • St. Charles County
      • May 26-28, 7 a.m.-7 p.m., St. Charles County Public Health Department, St. Charles
      • May 29-30, 7 a.m.-7 p.m.. The Youth Activity Park, Dardenne Prairie

Residents are strongly encouraged to register for a time to be tested either online or by calling the COVID-19 hotline.

  • As mentioned in an update last week, Missouri has created an online dashboard regarding COVID-19 testing and data. Staff updating the dashboard has been following CDC guidelines, but some key changes will be made to the dashboard to better reflect the information given. For example, the percent positivity rate, which was previously calculated as the number of positive COVID-19 cases divided by the total number of tests completed, will now be calculated as the number of positive cases divided by the number of people tested. In addition, the dashboard will now only include numbers from people who have an active COVID-19 case, while the number of people tested who have previously been infected will be kept separate.


  • Governor Parson will be speaking tonight on “Moving Forward: A Missouri Town Hall,” where he will be able to answer questions residents may have regarding the state’s response to COVID-19. Margie Vandeven, the Missouri Department of Education Commissioner, and Alex Garza, the Commander for the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force, will also be joining the governor during this discussion. Vandeven will be discussing schools and sports, while Garza will be discussing medicines and treatments. Those who wish to submit questions are encouraged to e-mail them to host John Holt.


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