Missouri first lady Teresa Parson has COVID-19, forcing the cancellation of a four-way debate set for Friday as Gov. Mike Parson canceled his schedule to go it into isolation.


The governor has been tested and his office scheduled a 4 p.m. news conference with Randall WIlliams, director of the Health and Senior Services Department, to discuss the results.


Teresa Parson’s result came from a rapid test, communications director Kelli Jones said, which isn't always accurate. A follow-up test with more accurate technology is set to come back later this afternoon.


Jones said Teresa Parson presented mild symptoms — "a sniffly nose and a little cough" — and took a test to be safe.


The governor has said he feels fine and has not shown any symptoms, Jones said.


The governor is now in isolation with less than six weeks before the Nov. 3 election where the Republican incumbent is seeking a full term against Democratic State Auditor Nicole Galloway.


The quarantine protocols are forcing the Missouri Press Association to postpone a four-way debate scheduled for Friday in Columbia, Executive Director Mark Maasen said.


Steele Shippy, Parson’s campaign manager, informed the association that he cannot attend "due to quarantine recommendations," Maasen said.


The association will attempt to reschedule the forum, the only debate that both major candidates have agreed to attend, Maasen said. The forum was also scheduled to include the Libertarian and Green Party candidates for governor.


Teresa Parson has been a highly visible presence alongside the governor at public events, where he regularly introduces her to applause.


She recently accompanied the governor to a Greene County Republican Party barbecue over the weekend and to the first day of the Payne's Valley Cup on Tuesday, where Tiger Woods and others inaugurated a course near Branson honoring Springfield native Payne Stewart.


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