Missouri first lady completes COVID-19 isolation

Austin Huguelet Springfield News-Leader

Missouri first lady Teresa Parson completed her isolation period for COVID-19 Monday and no longer has any symptoms, state officials say.

Parson, 67, tested positive for the virus last Wednesday after a mild cough and nasal congestion and has been at the Parsons' cattle farm in Bolivar since.

In a video posted on social media from the farm Tuesday, the first lady said she felt back to normal and “extremely lucky” that her symptoms were mild.

“However,” she added, “out of an abundance of caution, I am going to remain here the rest of the week and just enjoy some additional R&R time for myself.”

That aligns her schedule with that of Gov. Mike Parson, who also tested positive last Wednesday and is isolating in the Governor’s Mansion in Jefferson City through Saturday.

The first lady also announced in a later tweet that she and the governor are also postponing their annual fall festival at the mansion from Saturday to Oct. 31. She had previously said the event would go on as scheduled, prompting criticism from those who feared the event would help spread the virus.

The governor, 65, has reported no symptoms and continued to work and meet with staff virtually. Staffers identified as close contacts of either the governor or the first lady have been in quarantine and working from home as well.

The governor is isolating longer because he doesn’t have symptoms, which means his 10 days started from when he tested positive.

Federal guidelines say those with symptoms, like the first lady, can end their isolation 10 days from symptom onset, and she had symptoms before her positive test.

If the governor develops symptoms, his 10 days would restart.