JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson plans to resume public appearances this week after nearly two weeks of isolation because of a positive COVID-19 test, and will debate his Democratic challenger as planned on Friday, his office said.
The governor and his wife, Teresa, tested positive on Sept. 23. Neither developed serious symptoms and they announced Sunday that doctors had cleared them to return to work.
Parson's office said he plans to travel to St. Joseph on Tuesday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Missouri Western State University. After several events at the Missouri Capitol on Wednesday, he will travel to St. Louis Thursday for a ceremonial bill signing, then return to Jefferson City for an event thanking health care professionals and first responders.
With less than a month until the election, Parson is scheduled to debate Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nicole Galloway on Friday in Columbia. That event had been postponed due to Parson's positive COVID-19 test result.
Parson was resuming travel even as the state reported nearly 1,000 more confirmed cases on Monday. The state health department reported 133,418 total cases, an increase from the 132,431 reported Sunday. The state reported a total of 2,174 coronavirus-related deaths on Monday, one more than on Sunday.
St. Louis County health officials said the number of cases in the county has stabilized enough to allow them to ease some restrictions on high school and club sports, and businesses.
County Executive Sam Page said school districts that submit plans to the health department will be allowed to resume high-contact sports such as football and ice hockey. The districts must also pledge to cooperate with contract tracing efforts. The same rules will apply to club sports.
Businesses such as restaurants will also be allowed to increase capacity from 25% to 50% beginning Wednesday.
Page also said he was encouraging high schools to consider returning to in-person learning and that the county will provide $3 million in federal coronavirus relief funds to buy personal protective equipment for school districts.