Missouri reports more than 350 confirmed coronavirus cases

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Missouri health officials said Wednesday the state now has confirmed 356 cases of the coronavirus, an increase of 101 since Tuesday, as Gov. Mike Parson announced more steps to help the fight the spread of the virus.The youngest of the eight deaths recorded in Missouri was a 31-year-old Red Cross employee who was buried Tuesday as her family watched from their cars.

The American Red Cross Missouri-Arkansas Region said biomedical services employee Jazmond Dixon died in St. Louis, another Red Cross worker tested positive and another staff member is presumed to be positive. None of the three had contact with the public, KSDK reported.

The other seven deaths include three women who lived at an assisted-living center in Springfield. A fourth resident of the Morningside East home is hospitalized.

The ill include five members of a St. Louis-area family, including a teacher at a preschool where several teachers have the virus. Jane Weinhaus, who teaches at Deutsch Early Childhood Center at Congregation Temple Israel in Creve Coeur, was hospitalized on a ventilator for more than a week before she was removed from it Tuesday. Her husband, Michael Weinhaus, is hospitalized on high-flow oxygen, son Jason Weinhaus told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Jason Weinhaus, his brother Ryan Weinhaus and Ryan’s wife, Dr. Brittanie Weinhaus, have tested positive but have nearly recovered, Jason Weinhaus said.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

Parson on Wednesday announced he 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 on Wednesday 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 during a daily briefing the number of unemployment claims in the state in the past week is roughly equal to 30% of all claims in 2019.

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