Governor mobilizes National Guard against virus

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri braced itself Friday for a surge of coronavirus patients as the number of deaths grew to nine, with the governor mobilizing the state’s National Guard.

Gov. Mike Parson said Friday in a statement that the use of the National Guard would enhance coordination among state government partners and help the state “overcome this global pandemic.”

As of Thursday, the state had reported 502 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Later Thursday, St. Louis County officials announced the ninth death in the state: a woman in her 80s with chronic medical conditions.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. But the virus can lead to pneumonia and even death for some people, especially older adults and those with existing health problems.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City, which covers the western third of Missouri as well as parts or all of six other states, released a troubling report Friday, saying that 54 percent of the companies surveyed expected lower levels of employment for 2020 because of COVID-19 and market volatility. The report also said that 63 percent of the companies were concerned about cash availability.

Missouri will receive federal funds to cover some costs of fighting the spread of the coronavirus, after President Donald Trump approved a federal disaster declaration for the state. Parson’s request for federal assistance for crisis counseling, unemployment assistance and disposal for hazardous waste related to the outbreak are pending.


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