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ST. LOUIS (AP) — The number of positive coronavirus cases in Missouri has increased to more than 250 and state health officials said the rise is due partly to better access to testing.

Eight deaths from the virus have been reported, including three women who lived at an assisted-living center in Springfield. A fourth resident of the Morningside East home is hospitalized.

State health officials reported 255 confirmed cases as of Tuesday, March 24, an increase from 183 on Monday, March 23. With several health care centers and systems operating mobile testing sites, the state now lists 28 places offering testing.

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.

St. Louis County has the most cases, with 100.

Currently, 28 of the state's 114 counties haave reported at least one confirmed case.

The 20 to 29 age group has reported the most cases, with 60, followed by 51 cases in the 50-59 age group, according to health department statistics.

Gov. Mike Parson has banned all gatherings of more than 10 people but was resisting pressure to take stronger measures.

On Tuesday, Parson said issuing a statewide stay-at-home order would devastate the state's economy but he said he could change his mind if he becomes convinced it is necessary.

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