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Missouri’s statewide officials test negative for COVID-19 after Parson contracts it


JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Most of Missouri’s elected executive branch, including those who recently campaigned with the governor, have tested negative for COVID-19 on Wednesday. The tests came after Gov. Mike Parson confirmed he and his wife contracted coronavirus

Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe, Attorney General Eric Schmitt, and Treasurer Scott Fitzpatrick were tested after the governor’s announcement Wednesday, and all came back negative, their respective spokespeople told The Missouri Times.

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft was also tested Wednesday evening which came back negative, his spokeswoman said Thursday afternoon. He had spent the day traveling and meeting with local election officials.

“Secretary Ashcroft’s recent interactions with the governor and first lady fall well short of the ‘close contact threshold’ which is within 6 feet for 15 minutes as stated by [Department of Health and Senior Services Director] Dr. Williams today,” Maura Browning originally told The Missouri Times. 

The four Republicans appeared at a campaign event in Springfield with the governor over the weekend. 

Democratic Auditor Nicole Galloway, who is challenging Parson for governor, is the lone elected statewide official who did not appear at the campaign event. A spokesperson did not respond to a question about if or when she’s been tested for COVID-19. 

“I wish Governor Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson a safe and full recovery,” Galloway said in a statement. “This is a stark reminder that this virus can reach anyone, anywhere and that this pandemic is far from over. We must all continue to do our part in preventing the spread of the virus by practicing social distancing, washing hands, and wearing a mask.”

Galloway and Parson were set to square off in a debate Friday, but that has been postponed. 

The governor has cleared his schedule for the week and is in isolation for 10 days — as is state protocol — at the Governor’s Mansion in Jefferson City, Williams said during an afternoon press conference. Parson is continuing to fulfill all of his duties as governor from the mansion and is asymptomatic, Williams said. First lady Teresa Parson is “mildly symptomatic,” Williams said. 

More than 116,000 Missourians have tested positive for coronavirus in all this year, including about 1,400 in Cole County where Jefferson City and the Governor’s Mansion is located. About 500 people in all have tested positive in Polk County where the governor and first lady are from.

This story has been updated to include Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s test results.