First Lady Teresa Parson tested positive for COVID-19 earlier Wednesday, after she started experiencing symptoms. The governor was then reportedly tested as a precaution.
“Myself and the first lady are both fine,” Parson said in a video posted to his Facebook Wednesday. “I was tested, the preliminary results have come back as a positive result.”
He said that he wasn’t experiencing any symptoms.
The Republican governor said that he and the first lady of Missouri would be taking the necessary precautions by staying in their residences and distancing themselves from others.
Parson will reportedly stay in the governor’s mansion, while his wife self-isolates at their home in Bolivar, located in southwest Missouri.
An event scheduled for Wednesday, along with a debate with Democratic State Auditor Nicole Galloway on Friday, were immediately postponed after Teresa Parson’s results.
“All official and campaign events have been canceled until further notice,” Parson’s office announced Wednesday.
“I wish [Gov. Parson] and [First Lady Teresa Parson] a safe and full recovery. This is a reminder that this virus can reach anyone, anywhere,” Galloway said in a tweet. “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.”
Parson has encouraged Missourians to wear masks and wash their hands, but he has refused to enforce a state-wide mask mandate and has been seen in public with and without a mask, in the last week.
The governor attended a signing for the Kansas City Missouri Police Department earlier this week, where he was surrounded by officials wearing masks.
Though at a separate event Friday, Parson appeared maskless on stage with other Missouri Republican candidates at a “TARGET BBQ.” A photo posted on the governor’s Facebook page shows the candidates standing far apart from one another, although none of them had masks on.
“Proper safety protocols have been implemented at the direction of Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Department of Health and Senior Services,” Parson’s office said in a statement Wednesday.
Williams said that contact tracing efforts have begun in an attempt to locate other people that may have come into contact with the governor and his wife.
“Surprisingly it’s not as big a number as you might think because while they might be in a room with 1,000 people, the number of people who were literally with them for 15 minutes, right up next to them, is actually a smaller number,” Williams said during a press conference Wednesday.
Missouri has reported over 115,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, with 1,059 new cases reported Wednesday by the state’s Health and Human Services department.
The state has reported 1,864 confirmed deaths relating to COVID-19.