Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and his wife have both tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, according to a Facebook video that the governor released just before 4 p.m. on Sept. 23.
In the video, Parson said that his wife developed some signs of illness, leading to the Parsons to undergo testing for COVID-19.
"Myself and the first lady are both fine. The first lady started showing some symptoms, and today me and her talked and we sure thought the best thing to do was for her to get tested," Parson said.
Test results for First Lady Teresa Parson revealed that she was positive for COVID-19. Test results for Gov. Parson followed on Sept. 23, revealing that the governor was also positive for COVID-19.
The Parsons are separated from one another in a state of quarantine. Parson said he is staying by himself in the Missouri Governor's Mansion in Jefferson City and will continue to work and monitor himself for symptoms.
"Right now, I feel fine. No symptoms of any kind, but right now, we've just got to take the quarantine procedures that are in place," Gov. Parson said on the video.
Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, held a short press briefing in Jefferson City at 4 p.m. to further explain the governor and first lady's diagnoses.
"It was important for the governor and the first lady to announce this news to be transparent about their situation," Williams said.
Teresa Parson went home to Bolivar to isolate at the Parsons' home.
"Gov. Parson, who is asymptomatic, continues to conduct and fulfill all roles of businesses of the state Missouri from the Governor's Mansion without interruption," Williams said.
The governor asked Missourians to offer prayers for his wife's health.
"Right now, my concern is the first lady, her health, making sure she's okay," Parson said.
The governor said he would provide more of an update on his own condition on Sept. 24.
"I want to encourage everybody what I have every day: take care of yourselves, do the best you can to protect yourselves, you know, social distancing, wear a mask, personal hygiene," Parson said.
Williams said that the Parsons underwent a preliminary rapid results test along with PCR testing, which uses a nasal swab to detect the presence of COVID-19 viruses in a person's respiratory system.
Contact tracing has begun to identify and warn persons who have come into close contact with the Missouri governor and first lady in recent days.
"Close contacts are defined as those who have spent at least 15 minutes with them within 6 feet of sustained proximity. Our preliminary information shows this will be a relatively small number of people who meet this criteria of sustained contact," Williams said.
State Auditor Nicole Galloway, Parson's opponent in the November 2020 election, released a statement shortly after the governor's announcement.
“I wish Governor Parson and First Lady Teresa Parson a safe and full recovery. This is a stark reminder that this virus can reach anyone, anywhere and that this pandemic is far from over," Galloway said. "We must all continue to do our part in preventing the spread of the virus by practicing social distancing, washing hands, and wearing a mask.”