Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and his wife, Teresa Parson, both tested positive for coronavirus and have cancelled events as they isolate, his office said Wednesday.
The couple were tested earlier in the day after Teresa Parson began to exhibit mild symptoms, though the governor “feels healthy and is displaying no symptoms,” according to a statement. Mike Parson, who is seeking re-election this fall, has cancelled his forthcoming campaign events.
“All official and campaign events have been canceled until further notice,” the governor’s statement said. “As a precautionary measure, the Governor’s staff has been tested and is awaiting results.”
Both Parsons posted videos to their official Twitter accounts Wednesday to offer details on their conditions. Teresa Parson said she was fine and assured residents that she was isolating.
“I did get up with a few cold-like symptoms and decided maybe because we are among the public so much, I should be tested,” she said.
Mike Parsons told Missouri residents in his Twitter update that it had been “quite a day,” but that the couple was doing well. The governor said his preliminary results came back positive and they were beginning the process of quarantining as he awaits confirmation.
He added that he and his wife may have to isolate separately but that he plans on continuing with his duties.
“My concern is the first lady, her health, to make sure that she is OK,” the governor said.
Missouri has faced scrutiny in recent days as the state’s Lake of the Ozarks region hosted a large motorcycle rally last weekend, despite social distancing concerns. A similar rally that drew hundreds of thousands of bikers in South Dakota has been linked to more than 200 coronavirus cases and at least one death.
The 14th annual Bikefest Lake of the Ozarks started Wednesday, Sept. 16 and ran through Sunday, Sept. 20. Previous rallies drew over 100,000 to the area, NBC affiliate KSDK reported.
The event featured vending areas, more than 50 live shows, over 300 “biker-friendly” bars, restaurants and hotels, and a Harley Davidson giveaway, according to its website. Videos posted online of the event showed few masks were worn by attendees.
Another Missouri event that seemed to flout coronavirus guidelines was a crowded Memorial Day party, also at Lake of the Ozarks, where a viral video showed little social distancing. Health officials urged attendees to self-isolate following the event to prevent community spread of the coronavirus during the pandemic.
Missouri has 116,946 confirmed coronavirus and 1,947 deaths as of Wednesday afternoon, based on the state’s health dashboard. The governor has not imposed a statewide mandate that would require residents to wear masks in public, despite recommendations from the White House’s coronavirus task force.