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Parson says he'll rethink state's strategy if coronavirus cases spike during reopening

Parson says he'll rethink state's strategy if coronavirus cases spike during reopening

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JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Mike Parson said Wednesday he'll reevaluate the state's coronavirus-fighting strategy if new cases of COVID-19 trend upward following the state's reopening next week.

"If we see a trend — all of a sudden we're escalating back up — we're gonna reevaluate the situation. It's that simple," Parson said. "But right now I think we have the tools in place and I'm confident that we're on a downward spiral for the majority of the state."

Parson differentiated between daily jumps in cases and broader trends. He said sharp increases on any given day could be because of a lag in test results being reported. 

The governor's statewide stay-at-home order lasts through Sunday. A new order will take effect Monday, allowing businesses to open while still requiring physical distance between people.

Counties and the city of St. Louis will still be able to keep their own more restrictive health orders in place.

The state Department of Health and Senior Services reported 122 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, as well as four new deaths.

The average number of cases reported each day in Missouri over the past week is trending downward after peaking on April 12.

Erin Heffernan of the Post-Dispatch contributed to this report.

Editor's note: an earlier version of this article misstated the number of new deaths the state reported Wednesday.

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