Governor Parson Announces Priorities for Expanded Access to Testing

Earlier today, Governor Mike Parson announced a series of testing priorities designed to detect and rapidly contain potential COVID-19 outbreaks as the state gradually reopens its economy. The priorities outlined by the state are designed to help identify potential outbreaks through community sampling, to contain new localized outbreaks through the rapid deployment of tests and support resources, and to expand access to vulnerable populations, health care workers, first responders and workers in other critical industries. DHSS announced expanded testing criteria last month to encourage physicians to expand testing especially for vulnerable and at risk populations. Testing capacity in Missouri continues to increase. Between the Missouri State Public Health Laboratory, at least 15 private national and in-state laboratories, and participating health care institutions, approximately 60,000 tests could be performed in Missouri each week if needed. The state has also worked with local and federal partners as well as private labs to expand the number of test kits, lab capacity, and personal protective equipment (PPE) available statewide to ensure expanded access to testing. Testing capacity, including swab and media tube supply availability, continues to increase in Missouri. Clinicians are being encouraged by DHSS to exercise their best medical judgment with an eye toward expanding authorizations for a wider group of Missourians to access COVID-19 diagnostic testing as efforts continue to learn more about the virus, its composition, transmissibility, and resilience. Governor Parson was joined today by Jim Dumbauld, Senior Director for Quest Diagnostics. Quest Diagnostics has been an integral part for testing in Missouri. Quest’s 1,200 Missouri employees operate the following:

Four laboratories

Thirty-four Patient Service Centers

Phlebotomy services in ninety-five doctors’ offices

Last year, Quest Diagnostics served nearly 900,000 patients in Missouri and has more than a dozen working relationships with hospitals, health care systems, community health centers, and the VA hospital.To view the economic reopening order, additional guidance, and frequently asked questions, please click here. For more information on the “Show Me Strong” Recovery Plan, visit showmestrong.mo.gov

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