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Positive coronavirus tests climb to 5 in Missouri

Five individuals have now tested positive for coronavirus in Missouri, Gov. Mike Parson announced Saturday evening. 

The fifth individual who tested positive is in Greene County, the second person from that area to have tested positive. Thus far, 127 people have been tested for COVID-19, the governor said. 

Earlier Saturday, the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) said one individual who had been treated at Golden Valley Memorial Hospital tested positive for coronavirus. The Clinton facility was placed on diversion and advised not to admit new patients. 

Parson has declared a state of emergency; President Donald Trump also declared a national emergency. 

The latest case was travel-related, health officials said. However, additional information was not readily available. (This story will be updated as more information is released.) 

Two confirmed cases are in St. Louis County, two in Greene County, and one in Henry County. The state laboratory no longer needs to send tests to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to be confirmed. Tests confirmed at the state laboratory “are considered final,” Parson said Saturday night. 

In announcing the state of emergency, Parson said Missouri is expanding its ability to test for coronavirus through partnerships with the University of Missouri and Washington University. The state lab is expected to receive additional testing resources from the CDC as well. 

The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” while the disease is called “coronavirus disease 2019,” or “COVID-19.” It can cause severe respiratory illnesses with symptoms such as fever, cough, and shortness of breath, the CDC has warned. 

There have been more than 1,600 confirmed cases in the U.S., and 41 deaths, according to the CDC

The Missouri Capitol has effectively shuttered a week before a scheduled legislative spring break. The Senate canceled session for the upcoming week, while the House will have a technical session Monday and Tuesday as the Budget Committee continues to work. Some public areas in the House have been closed. 

DHSS has opened a public hotline that will be operated by medical professionals around the clock seven days a week. The hotline number is 877-435-8411. 

EDITOR’S NOTE: For up-to-date information on coronavirus, check with the CDC and DHSS.