Missouri’s health director to outline vaccine plan and testify about increasing COVID numbers

Coronavirus News Graphic

Missouri health officials say there have been about 21,000 new COVID cases in the past week, an average of 3,105 per day.

State Department of Health and Senior Services Director Dr. Randall Williams will testify Tuesday morning before the Missouri House Special Committee on Disease Control and Prevention. Committee chairman Dr. Jon Patterson, R-Lee’s Summit, wants to hear an update.

“You know we seem to be experiencing in the country and the state some of the highest case volumes it seems since the pandemic started,” Patterson says. “I want to kind of discuss how we’re responding to that.”

DHSS says about 120,000 new COVID tests have been conducted in the past week. Chairman Patterson praises DHSS, but notes he wants to make sure the state is doing all it can to get control of the coronavirus.

We’ll also learn new details on Tuesday’s hearing about how Missouri’s vaccine plan will be implemented statewide. Dr. Williams will be testifying about it and answering questions from lawmakers in both parties.

Missouri has submitted its 111-page plan for administering the impending COVID vaccine to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Williams says the plan’s hallmark is collaboration and coordination.

Missouri’s plan is based upon CDC’s anticipation of a phased availability of vaccines within the state. It also notes the highest risk population for mortality from COVID is nursing home residents.

As for Chairman Patterson, he emphasizes that COVID is and must be a bipartisan issue.

“You know this virus doesn’t care whether you are a Democrat or a Republican. It doesn’t care whether you live in a city or you’re rural. So, our response has to be bipartisan,” says Patterson.

DHSS says the state has now had 209,197 COVID cases this year, along with 3,153 deaths.

Brian Hauswirth


Brian Hauswirth began as Missourinet news director in July 2016. He anchors daily newscasts, simulcasts and special reports from the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City, where he primarily covers the Missouri House and numerous legislative committee hearings.