The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Missouri almost doubled Friday and Gov. Mike Parson said he will issue an order Saturday banning gatherings of more than 10 people.


Columbia followed later in the day with an order barring indoor service at bars and restaurants, limiting the number of people in gyms or theaters to 10 and barring all public or private gatherings of more than 10 people.


The Columbia-Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services has the power to extend those rules to the entire county.


At press time, the Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 tracking site showed 47 confirmed infections and one death, but it had not been updated since mid-morning and did not include a Friday death in Jackson County.


A data map compiled by Johns Hopkins University showed 53 cases in Missouri, and two deaths. One of the new cases is a member of the Missouri House of Representatives, which last met on Wednesday.


That is up from 28 on Thursday.


Boone County has 10 confirmed infections, according to a news release issued Friday afternoon. That includes a death on Wednesday.


Two of those infections are University of Missouri employees.


At his daily briefing, Parson said the pandemic will get worse.


"This is just the beginning," Parson said. "We are two or three months, at a bare minimum, that we have to deal with this issue."


There is one person hospitalized at Truman Memorial Veterans Hospital with COVID-19. It is unknown if anyone else in the state is being treated in a hospital for the disease that causes shortness of breath, coughing and fever.


"We do not know that number, no," Lisa Cox, spokeswoman for the state Department of Health and Senior Services, wrote in an email.


There are no patients with COVID-19 being treated at MU Hospital, spokesman Eric Maze wrote in an email.


Through 11 a.m. Friday, MU Health had taken samples from 293 people, Maze wrote.


There are more than 100 people in quarantine in Boone County, Lucio Bitoy, health department spokesman, wrote in an email.


Both MU employees immediately quarantined themselves and are recovering at home under the care of their physicians, the university stated in a news release.


"We are appreciative that these individuals have taken the proper actions by immediately self-quarantining, following directions from health officials and staying away from others," UM System President Mun Choi said.


Many university students who hadn’t already gone home were packing on Friday.


Alexandria Eskijia had planned to go home to Kansas City for spring break but decided to move since classes are being offered online because of the coronavirus.


"It’s an adjustment," she said. "Professors are struggling to communicate with us. It’s a hard way to learn."


The UM System on Thursday asked students to leave and ordered all employees to work from home unless being on-site is essential to their jobs.


The university is also working to disinfect all the buildings and facilities on campus, spokesman Christian Basi said.


"Our facilities are being disinfected and deep cleaned but that was and has been part of our plan ever since we first announced classes would be taught remotely," Basi said. "We have been taking those pro-active steps and have taken the opportunity as people have left campus to deep-clean using chemicals including things like fogging equipment to thoroughly disinfect rooms throughout the campus."


The contacts of all people who are confirmed with COVID-19 in Boone County are being traced and told of their potential exposure, Bitoy wrote.


No places of business have been ordered closed because of possible contamination and no one under quarantine is being sheltered away from their home, Bitoy wrote.


There is no reason to release any details of the movements of the cases found in Boone County, he wrote. Greene County has released specifics on the movements of three people known to have been in that community.


"This was related to a person being in a public venue while they may have been contagious, resulting in the case not being able to tell the investigators all of the people they were in contact with," Bitoy wrote.


The Boone County investigations haven’t shown that, he wrote.


"Thus far, all of the cases have been able to identify their close contacts and have not been in an open public venue where they may have infected people other than those they could name," Bitoy wrote. "Thus, we have no need to release similar information about the Boone County cases."


During a noon Facebook chat, Ashley Millham, the department’s medical director, said that when an individual tests positive, their identity and their privacy must be protected.


"We are not at this time seeing community transmission in our community," Millham said, adding that she expects that to change.


The details of Parson’s tightened ban on gatherings will be given Saturday, he said, but emphasized it is not an order for businesses to close. The order also will not apply to religious gatherings, government meetings and a few other exceptions that will be in the order.


Some public health officials in the state want Gov. Mike Parson to force people to stay home. The Kansas City Star obtained a letter dated Friday from the Missouri Center for Public Health Excellence, a group of public health departments representing half of the state’s population. The letter urged the Republican governor to require that residents can only leave home for medical reasons, work or to get food.


There are 19,101 confirmed coronavirus infections and 244 deaths in the United States. Some states, including California and Illinois, have issued orders for people to stay at home. New York and Pennsylvania have closed all non-essential businesses.


In his daily briefing, Parson said he does not intend to enact similar orders, preferring to keep those powers in reserve.


"This is about gatherings, 10 people or more," he said. "It is not about shutting down businesses in this state. It is about safety and the health care of the people of this state."


Businesses such as restaurants can stay open but with only 10 people inside, he said.


Parson continued to say he was trying to preserve the state’s economy in the face of the growing number of cases.


"It is easy to make the decision today as governor," he said. "I also have to look six months from now, what is the state going to look like in a year."


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