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FRIDAY UPDATES: Missouri DHSS reporting free at-home test kits delayed to Wednesday

State adds available COVID-19 testing options
State adds available COVID-19 testing options

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is reporting free at-home test kits delayed to Wednesday.

Beginning Wednesday, a limited quantity will be available each day through January. If the ordering site says the limit has been reached, please check back again the following day for availability.

The department cites a spike in demand and shipping backlog causing the pause.

Columbia Board of Education encouraging students and families to take precautions during omicron variant surge

The Columbia Board of Education is encouraging families with students to take precautions to keep everyone safe during the omicron variant case surge.

The Columbia Board of Education voted last month to remove the mask requirement and directed the district to make changes to contact tracing and quarantine protocols and to update its plans accordingly. 

On Friday, the district reported 57 employees positive for COVID and 130 students positive for COVID with an additional 50 students who were quarantining.

The board of education says the numbers are such that any changes in learning modes or closures are not being considered. 

The board is encouraged by the number of students and staff who have continued to wear masks. 

The board is encouraging students to wear a mask to school and to use the free vaccination clinics that are offered.

Trigger points for closures or changes in learning modes are outlined in the district’s COVID plan, and include: 

  • Student absenteeism
  • Teacher/Staff absenteeism
    When the number of staff available to supervise and instruct students drops below what is necessary to maintain a safe learning environment.
  • Confirmed case(s) of coronavirus
  • To protect the public health and safety
    When advised to close by the Governor or state and local health authorities.

State hosting drive-thru testing site in Jefferson City Sunday

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is hosting free testing sites across the state including a Jefferson City site on Sunday and Jan. 23.

The site is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the American Legion #1423, Parking Lot off Tanner Bridge Road.

The testing site is a drive-thru testing event.

The test used at these community testing events is a PCR test done by an anterior nares swab to determine the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

Anyone testing at this site will be notified of the test result via phone call or text.

Results will be available as soon as possible, but no later than 72 hours from the event.

Boone County reports fourth straight day of record-setting active coronavirus cases

The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services reported 277 new COVID-19 cases Friday. The dashboard reports that 35 of the new cases were between the ages of 18 and 22.

There are currently 2,109 active cases in the county and 30,737 cases since the pandemic began. Active cases have hit their highest number since the pandemic began. According to the dashboard, 1,684 of the active cases have been reported since Monday.

The county reported 28,436 cases removed from isolation. Over 87% of active cases are in the 65201, 65202 and 65203 zip codes.

Boone County ranks 10th in the state with the most coronavirus cases in total volume in the past week. Cases are up 104% when comparing last week to the prior week. The county has a 25.9% positivity test rate, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS).

The health department's hospital status is yellow with 135 COVID-19 patients in Boone County hospitals and 10 of them being Boone County residents. Of the 135 patients, 30 are in intensive care and 17 are on ventilators.

The Missouri coronavirus vaccine dashboard reports that 115,488 residents have received their first dose in Boone County and 101,661 Boone County residents have completed their vaccine doses.

Boone County has the third-largest percentage of county residents in Missouri that have received at least one dose of the vaccine with 64%. The largest county in the state is St. Louis County with 68.2%.

Boone County is third in the state with a reported 56.3% of residents that have completed their coronavirus vaccine doses. St. Louis County is the first county in the state with 60% of residents having completed the doses for vaccination. The city of Joplin has 61.1% of the population fully vaccinated.

Cole County has the second-highest first vaccination rate in Mid-Missouri with 54.3%. Callaway County is third with 50.3%.

Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services Jan. 7 dashboard

The Columbia Public Schools reports active coronavirus and quarantine cases to their website daily.

The district reported a 139 14-day rate per 10,000 for Tuesday. The highest the rate has been.

CPS reports 28 district facilities (13 elementary schools, six middle schools, three high schools and six other district-wide facilities) currently have staff out because of COVID-19. The district is reporting 31 staff members at an elementary school, 13 staff members at middle schools, six staff members at high schools and seven staff members at district-wide facilities who have tested positive for COVID-19. One staff member at elementary schools and one staff member at a high school have to quarantine due to being a close contact.

The district reports 31 district facilities to have students currently out due to the coronavirus. The district is reporting 18 of the elementary schools, six of the seven middle schools, all four of the high schools and three district-wide facilities are affected.

There are 130 students that have tested positive for COVID-19. The district is reporting 54 students in elementary, 28 students in middle school, 47 students in high school and two students in a district-wide facility have tested positive for the coronavirus.

There are 50 students who are required to quarantine due to the coronavirus. The district reports 34 elementary students are currently quarantining, 10 students in middle school, four students in high school and two students at district-wide facilities.

Cole County reports over 60 new coronavirus cases for third day in a row

The Cole County Health Department reported 61 new coronavirus cases Friday.

According to the dashboard update, there are 13,048 residential cases and 295 long-term care facility resident cases. That is 13,343 total cases in the county.

Cole County has reported 174 coronavirus deaths since the pandemic began.

Cole County ranks 36th in the state for counties with the most coronavirus cases per 100,000 in the past week. Cases are up 50.4% when comparing last week to the prior week. The county has reported a 23.8% positivity test rate, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

The Missouri coronavirus vaccine dashboard reports about 54.3% of the county have initiated their first dose of the vaccine and 50% of the county's population have been fully vaccinated.

The Jefferson City School District reported 10 new coronavirus cases in students and five new cases in staff members Thursday.

The district is reporting 14 active cases in students and 17 active cases in staff.

The district is reporting 164 close contacts for students and 24 close contacts for staff.

State of Missouri reports over 10,000 new coronavirus cases for second day in a row

The state of Missouri reported 12,979 new and probable coronavirus cases Friday.

The state of Missouri’s daily average of new coronavirus cases has gone back up to a 6,665 seven-day average (46,654 confirmed cases from the previous week of reporting) as the state reports new coronavirus cases across the state according to state health department reporting. The daily average looks at the last seven days and doesn't account for the past three days, which will push that number even higher.

The state reported 10,255 new coronavirus cases through PCR testing and another 2,724 probable cases identified in antigen testing from Wednesday, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services coronavirus dashboard. Missouri has now reported 874,140 confirmed cases for the pandemic and more than 206,272 probable cases.

The state recorded nine more confirmed deaths for 13,308 and three new probable deaths for a total of 3,022.

Missouri's new cases are up 66.9% over the past week, the state reports, as recent cases surge nationwide.

The rate of positive tests is 31.1% for the last week. A higher positivity suggests higher transmission and that there are likely more people with coronavirus in the community who haven’t been tested yet.

Cole, Pettis, Callaway, Osage, Moniteau, Miller, Saline and Boone counties are all in the top 40 Missouri counties in new cases per capita over the last week, according to state statistics.

Source: Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

The state reports that over 3.65% (a .19% increase from last reported on Thursday) of vaccinated Missourians have developed COVID-19 infections.

Experts continue to tout vaccination as the best tool to fight the wave of new cases.

Still, new vaccinations have effectively stalled in Missouri, with more boosters being given daily than first or second shots. The state reported Tuesday that 54.1% of Missouri residents are fully vaccinated.

COVID-19 hospitalizations are also trending upward, with the state reporting 27% of total hospital capacity and 19% of ICU capacity remaining. Those numbers are at 39% and 34% in Central Missouri, respectively.

Boone County to follow FDA/CDC recommendations on COVID vaccine for booster, immunocompromised children

Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services is following the recommendation and authorization from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for individuals aged 12 to 15.

Boosters for those aged 12 to 17 are authorized for the Pfizer vaccine 5 months after completing the primary vaccination series. For those aged 18 and older, boosters of Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are recommended.

The time between the primary series of Pfizer and a booster has been changed from 6 months to 5 months for all eligible ages. Moderna remains at 6 months and Johnson & Johnson remains at 2 months.

Individuals who are age 5 or older and have been diagnosed with conditions that make them considered to be moderately or severely immunocompromised are eligible for a third dose of the Pfizer vaccine at least 28 days following the second dose. A third dose of Pfizer or Moderna for immunocompromised individuals aged 18 and older was previously recommended.

People are considered to be moderately or severely immunocompromised if they have:

  • Been receiving active cancer treatment for tumors or cancers of the blood
  • Received an organ transplant and are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Received a stem cell transplant within the last 2 years or are taking medicine to suppress the immune system
  • Moderate or severe primary immunodeficiency (such as DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome)
  • Advanced or untreated HIV infection
  • Active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress your immune response

People should talk to their health care provider about their medical condition, and whether getting an additional primary shot is appropriate for them.

ABC 17 News Team



  1. Probable cases is a statement of fallacy and is very misleading…but the numbers are still a tiny portion of the entire MO population.

  2. CDC 12/29/2021 “people can remain PCR positive for up to 12 weeks after infection and long after they are transmissible and infectious.”

      1. Umm hey stupid! an antigen test IS a PCR test … and they are very reliable especially with current prevalence rates . The positive predictive value of a PCR test is found to be 87% sensitive and 97% specific, with a positive predictive value of 0.98 and a negative predictive value of 0.80.

      2. Let me rephrase that. The PCR test was found to be 87% sensitive and 97% specific, with a positive predictive value of 0.98 and a negative predictive value of 0.80.

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