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Second person in Missouri tests positive for COVID-19

Second person in Missouri tests positive for COVID-19

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Updated at 1 p.m. Friday with a statement from Auditor Nicole Galloway, who is running for governor.

GREENE COUNTY — Gov. Mike Parson announced Thursday that there is a second presumptive positive case of the COVID-19 coronavirus in Missouri in the southwest part of the state.

The patient is a person from Springfield in their 20s that had recently traveled to Austria and Parson called the case "travel-related." There has been no known community person-to-person transmission in Missouri, the governor said. 

The patient is expected to recover and is under quarantine, said Greene County Health Department Director Clay Goddard.

In addition to the announcement of the second diagnosed person, the governor announced Missouri will receive nearly $13 million in federal emergency funding to support response efforts. 

Authorities are still working on how to use the money effectively to protect Missourians, the governor said. 

"I want to assure you that we are taking all steps necessary to protect the health and safety of Missourians," Parson said. "I want to emphasis that at the end of the day we are all responsible for our own actions. Use common sense. Practice good hygiene. Wash your hands. Stay at home if you're sick. And if you are told to self-quarantine, it is very important to follow those instructions." 

The governor also announced access to veteran's homes across the state is restricted, according to the Missouri Veterans Commission, and the Missouri Department of Corrections are suspending visitation for all state correctional facilities. This does not apply to attorney visits.

Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, said there were 1,000 test kits available in the state and more were expected to arrive Thursday.

Watch the press conference here:

The case in Springfield is presumptive positive, meaning the result of a state test for the virus will need to be confirmed by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which takes a few days. 

The state's first known case of the virus was a Ladue woman who recently returned to St. Louis County after studying abroad in Italy.

Only two people out of the 73 people tested for COVID-19 have tested positive, the governor said. There are more known cases in Missouri's neighboring states.

About 1:40 p.m. Friday, Gov. Mike Parson's office said in an email that Parson would hold a news conference at 5 p.m. to declare a state of emergency related to the virus.

Democratic governors in Illinois, Kentucky and Kansas have already issued emergency declarations, as well as Republican governors in Arkansas, Iowa, Florida, Maryland, Massachusetts, Tennessee and Ohio.

In Kansas, there were four known cases of COVID-19 Thursday, all in Johnson County near Kansas City and the Missouri border. State officials are reporting the state's first COVID-19 death, a man in his 70s who lived in a nursing home in the Kansas City, Kansas, area.

In Illinois, there were 32 known cases of coronavirus as of Thursday evening, though some patients have recovered since the start of the outbreak.

Although the extent of the virus is not clear because testing has been limited, nationally at least 1,500 people in 45 states and Washington, D.C. have tested positive for coronavirus, according to a New York Times database, and at least 39 patients with the virus have died.

Scores of public events across the St. Louis region have been canceled or postponed, from sports to concerts to library events and parades. 

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.

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