The number of COVID-19 cases in Missouri has nearly doubled, going from 28 to to 47 as officials throughout the state seek to get ahead of the coronavirus crisis.

State health officials said Friday that St. Louis County and Kansas City have the most cases, with seven each, while Greene County has six. Pulaski, Scott and St. Charles counties all reported their first cases.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters-Baker said Thursday that her office was making several changes to keep low-risk offenders out of jail to lower the risk of spreading the disease.

And Branson officials banned all gatherings of 10 or more.

Meanwhile, Missouri Gov. Mike Parson says the state will soon ban gatherings of more than 10 people to help combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Parson said the order will be issued Saturday. During a news conference Friday, Parson stressed that the order that will be issued Saturday won't require businesses to close. He says it will include exceptions for hospitals, pharmacies, grocery stores, and government and religious services.

Two more Missourians have died from the coronavirus. St. Louis County officials said Friday that a woman in her 60s who suffered from multiple health problems prior to being diagnosed with COVID-19 died. Officials don't yet know if she had traveled.

On the other side of the state, Jackson County officials said a woman in her 80s had died. She had not recently traveled, raising concerns about community spread. The deaths were the second and third in Missouri.

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