Officials said the individual had been diagnosed Tuesday and was travel-related. Family members placed a 911 call Wednesday morning “to report a medical emergency” and the patient was taken to University Hospital in Columbia.
“We mourn the loss of one of our community members, and I thank our health care providers and first responders who had planned for this, to be prepared but not panicked,” Columbia Mayor Brian Treece told reporters. “We are in this together.”
Treece said first responders utilized the proper personal protective equipment when responding. Those six responders were screened for exposure at the hospital and have been quarantined, Treece said.
“I am deeply saddened to hear that Missouri’s first announced death from [COVID-19] was here in Boone County. I am praying for the family of this individual and am thankful for the selflessness of our health care professionals,” Sen. Caleb Rowden said. “I am also strengthening my resolve to do whatever is possible to [flatten the curve] and help our community and our state get through this. The time is now for our leaders to lead, regardless of political implications or consequences.”
More than a dozen Missourians have tested positive for coronavirus this month, including several people in Greene and St. Louis counties. The Boone County individual is the first reported death in the state. Gov. Mike Parson declared a state of emergency on March 13.
There have been more than 4,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the U.S., and 75 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
This story will be updated as more information is available.
Kaitlyn Schallhorn is the editor of The Missouri Times. She joined the newspaper in early 2019 after working as a reporter for Fox News in New York City.
Throughout her career, Kaitlyn has covered political campaigns across the U.S., including the 2016 presidential election, and humanitarian aid efforts in Africa and the Middle East.
She is a native of Missouri who studied journalism at Winthrop University in South Carolina. She is also an alumna of the National Journalism Center in Washington, D.C.
Contact Kaitlyn at firstname.lastname@example.org.