ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jazmond Dixon was buried Tuesday as her family watched from their cars. Dixon, 31, died Sunday, March 22, as the first fatality from the coronavirus in St. Louis. She was the youngest of the eight deaths recorded so far in Missouri.The American Red Cross Missouri-Arkansas Region said Dixon was a biomedical services employee at the main Red Cross blood donation center at 4050 Lindell Blvd. in St. Louis. Another Red Cross worker there has tested positive, and another staff member is presumed to be positive. None of the three had contact with the public, according to the Red Cross.
The center was closed Tuesday for cleaning and disinfecting. It was open as usual on Wednesday.
Missouri health officials said Wednesday that the state state now has confirmed 356 cases of the coronavirus, an increase of 101 since Tuesday.
Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, announced on Wednesday more steps to help the fight the spread of the virus.
He said he had asked President Donald Trump to approve a federal disaster declaration that would allow the state to receive federal assistance to help the unemployed and to remove biohazardous materials.
Public Safety Director Sandy Karsten said the governor had also shifted another $11 million from other areas of the state budget to buy more personal protective equipment, such as masks.
Parson also encouraged farmers, grocers and other workers in the food industry to keep working unless they’re sick. And the governor announced in a daily briefing that the number of unemployment claims in the state in the past week was roughly equal to 30 percent of all claims in 2019.
Meanwhile, the coronavirus is prompting the release of nearly five dozen St. Louis jail inmates.Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner said that her office and the public defender’s office had worked together to identify 56 people being held on charges for low-level crimes, or who have significant health issues. They’re asking the court to release them pending trial.
St. Louis County also is expected to soon release some inmates.
At least one Missouri college will not require ACT or SAT testing for potential incoming freshmen amid college entrance exam cancellations. Westminster College in Fulton said Wednesday that it would evaluate applicants based on grade-point average and other factors.
The Missouri Supreme Court has extended through April 17 its statewide suspension on in-person court proceedings. The state Supreme Court has suspended in-person proceedings through April 3.