A woman in her 20s who recently returned from Italy is Missouri’s first likely case of COVID-19, Gov. Mike Parson said Saturday evening at a news conference in St. Louis County.

The woman is isolated at home with family members after going to Mercy Hospital St. Louis, with fever and respiratory illness.

The woman’s test results from the State Health Lab returned a “presumptive positive” and samples will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control for confirmation.

Parson expressed confidence in the local and state response to the coronavirus.

“I am confident they will continue to take all steps necessary to protect the health and safety of Missourians and Missouri communities,” Parson said.

Parson was joined at the news conference by St. Louis County Executive Sam Page, U.S. Rep. Ann Wagner and medical officers from Mercy Hospital.

The family members of the woman are isolated with her. Page said St. Louis County health officials are working to trace all her contacts since she arrived home earlier this week.

At Mercy Hospital, the woman was “kept away from other patients and all heath care personnel used proper equipment to make sure they would have no contact with the virus,” Page said.

The woman was not sick enough to warrant hospitalization, officials said.

So far, 26 Missourians have been tested and the woman’s case is the first presumptive positive. There are three additional tests waiting to be completed, Parson said.

“I am extremely confident that Missouri is prepared to handle these cases as well as any other that may arise,” Parson said.

The news comes on a day when several states reported their first cases of the virus and others reported their first deaths.

A Kansas City-area woman who recently traveled to the Northeast is the first case of coronavirus in Kansas, officials confirmed Saturday.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo declared a state of emergency Saturday as the New York coronavirus numbers continued to tick upward, with 89 cases now reported statewide — including nearly 60 linked to the New Rochelle resident at the center of the outbreak.

Two people who tested positive for the new coronavirus have died in Florida, marking the first deaths on the East Coast attributed to the outbreak in the U.S., health officials said Friday.

The total U.S. death toll reached 19 on Saturday.

The coronavirus, named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization, is spreading quickly around the globe, disrupting travel and trade and testing the public health preparedness of every nation.

While the global death toll has risen past 3,400, more people have now recovered from the virus than are sickened by it. As of Saturday, nearly 90,000 cases have been reported in Asia; more than 8,000 in Europe; 6,000 in the Mideast; about 450 in North America, Latin America and the Caribbean, and fewer than 50 cases reported so far in Africa.

The number of U.S. coronavirus cases swelled to about 400, with cases in about half of the states. Indiana, Minnesota, Nebraska, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. also reported their first cases.

The Pentagon has announced that a U.S. Marine assigned to Fort Belvoir, Virginia tested positive Saturday for COVID-19 and is currently being treated at Fort Belvoir Community Hospital.

Maryland officials say a person in New Jersey who has tested positive for coronavirus attended the recent Conservative Political Action Conference in the Washington suburb of Oxon Hill, Maryland.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

rkeller@columbiatribune.com

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