Story at a glance
- The state’s stay-at-home order expired Monday, allowing certain businesses to reopen with some social distancing restrictions in place.
- The number of cases reported Monday is the largest increase in a single day in the state since the pandemic began.
- The state has reported 8,754 cases and 358 deaths.
Missouri recorded its largest single-day spike in coronavirus cases Monday, the same day the state’s stay-at-home order expired, allowing some businesses to reopen.
The state tallied 368 new COVID-19 cases and six new deaths Monday, the largest number of cases reported in the state in a single day since the pandemic began, according to St. Louis’s KMOV-TV.
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The spike in cases comes after more than 370 employees and contract workers at a pork processing plant in St. Joseph, located on the border of Missouri and Kansas, tested positive for the coronavirus over the weekend. Testing at the plant has been ongoing since last week and results have been coming in over the past several days.
Health officials said most of the employees who tested positive for COVID-19 were asymptomatic. Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) said all of those employees have since been quarantined.
The governor said random testing was done throughout the state.
“We did roughly 3,000 tests over the State of Missouri randomly over the weekend and of those 3,000 tests there were 9 that came back positive,” Parson said according to KMOV-TV. “You have to take all the numbers as a whole to see how it affects the entire state.”
Randall Williams, the state’s health director, said the spike in cases across the state could be the result of increased testing, especially among those who were not displaying any symptoms.
On Monday, Parson toured the state along with his wife in order to promote local businesses and encourage Missourians to patronize shops and restaurants.
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“We believe we are on the downside of this virus,” Parson said Monday according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “This reopening is a gradual process but we are on the right track.”
Missouri’s stay-at-home order allowed many nonessential businesses to remain open with social distancing restrictions. While the order has expired, some of those restrictions are still in place, but some additional businesses, such as salons, have been allowed to reopen. Parts of the state hit harder by COVID-19 remain under local stay-at-home orders.
KMOV-TV reports 55 percent of the cases in the state are in St. Louis City or St. Louis County, where stay-at-home orders have been extending through at least mid May.
The state has reported 8,754 cases and 358 deaths.
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