Missouri governor Mike Parson postpones mansion event

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson and first lady Teresa Parson won’t be hosting their Fall Festival as scheduled after all.

The Parsons announced Tuesday that out of an abundance of caution, they will not hold the annual event at the governor’s mansion Saturday. Both the governor and his wife, who were diagnosed with COVID-19 last week, have been separately isolating.

The postponement capped several days of controversy that started when Friday when Teresa Parson tweeted, “We will be proceeding with this event.”

NPR wrote about it, reporting that the Parsons’ gathering would take place less than two weeks after the initial COVID positive tests.

Missouri’s Department of Health and Senior Services pushed back shortly after that, calling the article “filled with misinformation.” The agency said NPR was confusing CDC guidelines covering isolation and quarantine. Those who have potentially been exposed to someone with COVID-19 are asked to quarantine 14 days — because symptoms sometimes take a few days to show up. Those with the virus are asked to isolate 10 days.

In this case, Teresa Parson’s isolation was scheduled to last until Sept. 28, while the governor’s was set to expire Oct. 3 — the day of the Fall Festival. NPR later issued a correction, saying it had incorrectly stated the event would take place during the Parsons’ 14-day quarantine window.

The governor still decided to go the conservative route Tuesday, saying Teresa would continue to isolate in their Bolivar home through the weekend.

“We are extremely thankful that the First Lady is feeling healthy and no longer experiencing symptoms,” Parson said in the release. “However, we feel that postponing the Fall Festival is the best decision at this time. I fully support Teresa in taking extra precautions, and we look forward to seeing everyone at the People’s House very soon.”

Parson said, tentatively, the plan would be to combine the Fall Festival with the family’s Halloween event on Oct. 31.

Jesse Newell — he’s won an EPPY for best sports blog and previously has been named top beat writer in his circulation by AP’s Sports Editors — has covered KU sports since 2008. His interest in sports analytics comes from his math teacher father, who handed out rulers to Trick-or-Treaters each year.

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