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Parson returns to office, travels across state after COVID quarantine

Parson returns to office, travels across state after COVID quarantine

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JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Mike Parson has returned to work after testing positive for COVID-19, and plans to travel across the state, including to St. Louis on Thursday, his office says. 

"I look forward to being back at work," Parson said in a video posted to Twitter on Sunday with his wife, Teresa, from their farm in Bolivar, Mo. "See you on the trail before long." 

Parson, 65, and his wife Teresa, 67, tested positive for the virus on Sept. 23 and announced they would each quarantine for 10 days. The governor ended his quarantine Saturday, Parson's office said. 

In a video update from their farm on Sunday, the couple said they were in good health and were about to travel back to Jefferson City. 

"We are both doing fine," Gov. Parson said.

Parson, who stayed in the governor's mansion overlooking the Missouri River in downtown Jefferson City, had reported no symptoms of the virus. Teresa Parson had mild symptoms of a cough and nasal congestion. 

Parson's plans for the week include several ceremonies in the capitol, St. Joseph and St. Louis, according to a schedule released by his office. 

Parson will travel Tuesday to Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph to celebrate the completion of an expansion to the school's nursing program, according to his office. 

On Wednesday, he will speak at an event hosted by the chamber of commerce in Jefferson City in the state capitol. Afterward he'll hold a pinning ceremony to promote Missouri's senior military officer, National Guard Brig. Gen. Levon Cumpton, to Major General. 

On Thursday, Parson is to travel to St. Louis to hold a ceremonial signing of a bill removing requirements that St. Louis police and firefighters reside in the city. The ceremony will take place at the St. Louis Police Officers Association hall at 3710 Hampton Avenue. 

Along with upending the daily operations of state government, the Sept. 23 COVID-diagnoses kept Parson off the campaign trail as he seeks a full, four-year term. Parson, a Republican, is running against Democratic state Auditor Nicole Galloway.

Members of Parson's administration also have tested positive for COVID-19, but Parson's office won't say how many. An estimated three dozen employees work closely with Parson in his office on the second floor of the Capitol.

Parson's campaign has also ignored media inquiries about his whereabouts in the days before he tested positive.

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Reporter covering breaking news and crime by night. Born in Algeria but grew up in St. Louis. Previously reported for The Associated Press in Jackson, Mississippi and at the Wichita Eagle in Wichita, Kansas.

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