JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson said Sunday that his administration is strongly encouraging the cancellation or suspension of public events with more than 50 people following federal health officials' recommendations that those events be halted in an attempt to slow the spread of the coronavirus.


Kansas City and St. Louis area officials said they were banning events with over 50 people for eight weeks following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's recommendation Sunday evening. St. Louis area leaders also recommended that all K-12 schools close at least by Wednesday until further notice.


St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson said in a tweet that officials from the city of St. Louis, St. Louis and St. Charles counties, and St. Clair and Madison Counties in Illinois are considering whether to require the mandatory closure of bars, restaurants and nightclubs, and expect to make a decision soon.


Parson said in a news release that his recommendations included exceptions for "educational institutions, daycare facilities, and business operations."


The state Department of Health and Senior Services on Saturday announced the state's fifth case of COVID-19, an individual in Greene County who tested positive after traveling.


Officials said earlier Saturday that the state's fourth case was a person from western Missouri's Henry County. The patient was hospitalized at Golden Valley Memorial Hospital in Clinton before to being transferred March 8 to another facility, where the patient was tested and remains for treatment.


Golden Valley Memorial Hospital has now been placed on diversion for emergency services and has been told to not admit new patients, the department said.


The state said two positive cases have been reported in St. Louis County and one additional case in Greene County.


The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the WHO, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.