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FRIDAY UPDATES: Cole County reports 28 COVID-19 cases

UPDATE: 10:30 P.M.: The Cole County Health Department reported 28 cases of COVID-19 in the county Friday night.

According to the department's website, 10 people have now recovered from the disease and 17 cases remain active.

The county reported its first death Friday afternoon.

UPDATE 4:55 P.M.: The Callaway County Health Department says the state is reporting an erroneous number of COVID-19 cases in the county.

State officials report 18 cases in Callaway County. However, the Callaway County Health Department said Friday that only 17 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Callaway County. Eleven of those people have recovered and six have the active virus.

Callaway County Health Department spokesman Darin Wernig said the state's number is in error.

UPDATE 4:40 P.M.: Walmart will start limiting the number of people in its stores at one time on Saturday to encourage social distancing as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

The company announced the change in a news release Friday. Target said the same day it will meter traffic at its stores, as well.

"Stores will now allow no more than five customers for each 1,000 square feet at a given time, roughly 20 percent of a store’s capacity," the retailer said in a statement.

Employees posted at store entrances will regulate traffic.

Walmart will also institute one-way traffic in its aisles and put up signs to encourage social distancing.

UPDATE 3:45 P.M.: University of Missouri Health Care said Friday it is adjusting the hours of its drive-thru testing site in Columbia.

MU Health Care said in a news release that it will test patients for COVID-19 in the parking lot of MU's softball stadium from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays but will change weekend hours to 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. The changing schedule will help MU Health adjust resources for higher volume times, according to the release.

“Although we are decreasing our operating hours on the weekends, we do not want this action to be perceived as though our community is on the tail-end of fighting this virus," emergency room doctor Jonathan Heidt said in the release. "That is not the case. Let me be clear: it’s still critically important that we continue to social distance and stay home to minimize the spread of the virus. These numbers indicate the steps we’ve taken so far may be working, but these actions need to continue.”

MU Health has conducted more than 2,200 drive-thru tests, according to the release. The organization has conducted 2,831 tests in total, with 91 positive for COVID-19.

A doctor's order is required to get tested.

The state on Friday reported 2,113 cases of COVID-19. At least 21 people have died from the virus in Missouri.

UPDATE 2:15 P.M.: Cole County has reported its first death from COVID-19.

The health department updated its website Friday afternoon to show the death. The department reported 27 cases of the virus, with 17 of those active. Nine people have recovered from the virus.

The death was not yet reflected in state numbers posted Friday afternoon. The state reported 19 deaths Friday afternoon.

County Health Director Kristi Campbell said in a news release that the department was notified of the death at 1:41 p.m. She said the department would release no more information about the patient.

Cole County remains under a stay-at-home order directing residents to only go out for essential services.

UPDATE 2:05 P.M.: The number of cases of COVID-19 in Missouri has passed the 2,000 mark with a jump Friday of nearly 300 cases.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported 2,113 cases of the novel coronavirus on Friday. That's up from 1,834 the day before.

The state reported 74 cases in Boone County. St. Louis County leads the state with 794 cases. State health officials reported 670 cases a week ago.

The number of deaths Friday stood at 19, including one in Boone County.

The state says 21,191 tests have been administered.

Of the positive cases, only 83 statewide have been deemed travel-related.

Gov. Mike Parson has put a statewide social distancing order in place that prohibits gatherings of more than 10 people and closed restaurant dining areas. The order expires Monday.

Parson has so far resisted calls for a statewide stay-at-home order of the kind in place in Boone, Cole and Randolph counties. He is expected during a 5 p.m. news conference to announce what action he will take as the social distancing order that is in place until Monday expires.

UPDATE 1:55 P.M.: Capital Region Medical Center in Jefferson City said Friday that it is extending the hours of its COVID-19 testing site.

The hospital, an affiliate of University of Missouri Health Care, said the testing site will be open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the weekends.

The site is on the south side of the Capital Region Physicians primary care clinic at 1014 Madison St.

A physician's order is required to get the test.

Cole County health officials said Friday that 27 people have tested positive for COVID-19. Six patients have recovered and 21 cases are active.

UPDATE 1:49 P.M.: The Missouri National Guard on Friday released more information about its scouting of alternate care facilities in six locations across the state to aid in the fight against COVID-19.

The news release sent Friday afternoon said the guard along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Missouri Hospital Association are conducting the survey assessments.

The Guard said the tentative design for the facilities will provide state medical organizations with additional options for temporary treatment.

“These site assessments are another example of how we are putting plans in place to anticipate needs and support our communities during this unprecedented fight against COVID-19."

Brig. Gen. Levon Cumpton Missouri National Guard

Cumpton said the Guard looked at Mizzou Arena and the Hearnes Center as possible sites for a field hopsital in Columbia. State officials also looked at sites in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, Joplin, as well as Cape Girardeau.

UPDATE 1 P.M.: Target says it will start metering store traffic Saturday to make sure it is adhering to social distancing guidelines.

"Effective April 4, Target will actively monitor and, when needed, meter guest traffic in its nearly 1,900 stores nationwide to promote social distancing," the company said in a news release Friday.

Target said it will also supply its 350,000 employees with gloves and masks to wear while they're working.

Target says the changes are on top of measures it has already taken such as increased sanitization of stores, social distancing measures and Plexiglass partitions at registers.

More than 250,000 Americans have tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

UPDATE 12:06 P.M.: California R-I and Boonville R-I announced the school district extended their closures until May 4.

California district officials posted on Facebook that distance learning will continue.

Boonville school leaders said they are hopeful students may be able to return to class for the end of the school year. As of Friday, district officials have not made decisions to cancel commencement or prom.

UPDATE 11:17 A.M.: The Pulaski County Health Center said Friday at least 11 people have tested positive for COVID-19.

The announcement added one more new case of novel coronavirus since Thursday. Health officials said the new case is travel-related.

Since Monday, at least four more people have tested positive in the county.

A Facebook post from the health center said three people have recovered from COVID-19. One person has died in Pulaski County from coronavirus.

UPDATE 10:59 A.M.: As of Friday morning, Howard, Miller and Audrain counties have not confirmed positive cases of COVID-19.

The Audrain County Health Department said Thursday that 13 people have tested negative for COVID-19. The health department said three of the tests were pending.

The Miller County Health Center said residents should stay home and follow health guidelines to mitigate the threat of coronavirus.

As of Friday, at least 173 people in Mid-Missouri have tested positive for COVID-19. The highest concentration of cases was reported in Boone County with 69 confirmed cases.

The state health department said Thursday at least 1,834 people have tested positive for novel coronavirus. State health officials said 19 people have died related to coronavirus.

UPDATE 10:29 A.M.: Osage County leaders announced Wednesday a countywide stay-at-home order would go into effect at 5 p.m. on Friday.

The order is in place until at least May 1.

It's similar to other orders in place in Boone, Cole and Randolph counties. The order said county residents and non-residents are allowed to go to essential businesses like grocery stores and gas stations.

It included non-essential businesses had to cease operations. The order allowed parks and outdoor facilities to remain open.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

ABC 17 News Team

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