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Missouri governor on kids getting coronavirus at school: 'They're going to get over it'

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson (R) is downplaying the health effects on children who might contract the coronavirus if schools reopen with in-person classes, saying “they’re going to get over it.”

“These kids have got to get back to school, they're at the lowest risk possible,” Parson said Friday during an interview with “The Marc Cox Morning Show”, a St. Louis radio program. “And if they do get COVID-19, which they will — and they will when they go to school — they're not going to the hospitals. ... They are going to go home and they're going to get over it.”

State Auditor Nicole Galloway, the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor, tweeted that Parson's comments showed “stunning ignorance" on how COVID-19 affects children.

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Parson is favored to win the gubernatorial race in November, with the nonpartisan Cook Political Report rating Missouri as “likely Republican” for the governor’s contest.

Children can become infected with COVID-19. However, symptoms may vary. Many children have no symptoms, and those who do get sick tend to experience milder symptoms such as low-grade fever, fatigue and a cough.

Still, some children, such as those with underlying health conditions, have had severe complications. It’s also unclear how easy it is for children with the virus to pass it along to teachers and other school staff.

Missouri has seen a significant spike in coronavirus cases this month. The seven day average hit 731 daily cases on Saturday, up from 560 daily cases in the previous week’s average, according to The Associated Press. The state has a total of 33,094 cases and has recorded 1,129 deaths from COVID-19.

Public schools in St. Louis released their plans on Monday for holding in-person classes this fall. Schools will need to “maintain safe and healthy environments for staff and students,” including a 3 foot radius around each student’s desk, daily health and temperature screenings for students and staff, and face coverings for all staff and students from 4th grade up.

Updated at 6:01 p.m.