JEFFERSON CITY, MO -- Gov. Mike Parson commended Missouri's efforts in increasing COVID-19 testing capacity, but said the state needs to do much more.
Parson said continuing to increase testing is the primary way to fully recover economically during Thursday's COVID-19 briefing.
He announced a goal of 7,500 tests a day with three strategies. One strategy is to box in outbreaks, primarily in long-term care facilities with 1,850 tests a day. Parson said the goal is to go into high-irsk facilities that have confirmed at least one case of COVID-19 and test everyone, including staff, in the facility.
A second strategy is sentinel testing at state-owned facilities across 28 counties. Parson said the goal is to conduct 1,440 tests a day over 10 days to identify and isolate those experiencing symptoms or who are asymptomatic.
The third strategy is to collect a community sample by setting up testing sites in different counties across the state. Parson said these sites have been set up in 13 counties and six more are expected to be set up in the next 10 days. Parson said the goal is to conduct 975 tests a day at these sites.
Parson said the community sampling will give health officials a better idea on how prevelant the coronavirus is in different communities. The data will help determine when it's safe to go back to somewhat normal activities.
Parsons said his administration can re-evaluate what's needed once state testing numbers increase.
Missouri reported 108 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, bringing the state's cumulative total to 11,340. A total of 661 people have died from COVID-19, which is an increase of 30 deaths from Wednesday.