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THURSDAY UPDATES: No new COVID-19 cases confirmed in Cole, Callaway counties

COVID-19 case numbers might differ among state and local health authorities because of issues with reporting and address verification.

UPDATE 8:25 P.M.: Two Mid-Missouri counties reported zero new cases of COVID-19 Thursday.

Cole County remains at 51 positive cases, according to the Cole County Health Department. Of those 51 cases, only three are active.

Data shows 37% of the cases were patients between 40 and 59 years old. Only 6% of the cases have been in people younger than 20 years old. 55% of the patients are women while 45% are men.

The county reported its first and only death April 3.

Meanwhile, Callaway County also did not report any new COVID-19 cases Thursday.

According to local health officials, there has been a total of 20 confirmed cases. Of those 20, 16 have recovered, three are active and there has been one death. Several of the cases were associated with William Woods University in Fulton.

UPDATE 4:20 P.M.: Boone County reported one new case of COVID-19 on Thursday, inching the county closer to the 100 mark.

The county now has 94 COVID-19 cases confirmed since the pandemic began last month, according to a website set up to report official COVID-19 information. Of those cases, 89 people have been released from isolation because they have recovered.

This official chart shows total COVID-19 cases vs. recoveries through April 29.

Boone County continues to see slow growth in cases -- Thursday's new case was just the second in the last week.

The county health director on Thursday signed a reopening order that will take place Monday putting social distancing rules in place and limiting crowd sizes and the number of people inside buildings.

Officials cited Columbia's place as a regional hub and breakouts in Mid-Missouri counties such as Moniteau and Saline in issuing the new order. State officials reported 40 cases Thursday in Moniteau County and 184 in Saline County.

UPDATE 4 P.M.: Advocates for Missouri state workers are pushing for higher pay and more protective equipment.

Union leaders, Democratic state lawmakers and other advocates for worker rights on Thursday called on Gov. Mike Parson to do more to protect employees from the coronavirus, The Associated Press reported. One union leader said public workers shouldn't have to die providing key government services.

A spokeswoman for Parson didn't immediately return an Associated Press request for comment. Parson's administration is offering an extra $250 per paycheck to state employees who show up to work in places where someone has tested positive for the virus. 

UPDATE 3:15 P.M.: Dozens of employees at a plant in St. Joseph tested positive for COVID-19.

This comes after the Missouri Department Health and Senior services partnered with local health officials to offer testing to all of the employees at Triumph foods.

Of the 707 employees who were tested Monday, 92 tested positive for the virus. 34 workers who were asymptomatic tested positive when they were tested before this week.

Health officials also collected samples to be tested from about 1,500 employees on Tuesday and Wednesday, but those results are still pending. According to a news release, not all of the cases among Triumph Foods employees will be counted in Buchanan County’s total case count because some of the workers live outside of the county. 

State health officials said they are helping the local health department with identifying close contacts to the people who tested positive.

Guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says people who did not have symptoms but tested positive and are self-isolating can leave their “sick room” after at least seven days since the positive test.

UPDATE 2:18 P.M.: The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced Thursday that statewide COVID-19 cases and deaths have again increased.

According to the health department's website, 7,562 cases have been confirmed and 11 more deaths were confirmed since Wednesday.

Health workers say 137 Missouri residents tested positive for novel coronavirus and 11 more virus-related deaths were reported.

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

According to the state data, the St. Louis area continues to be the hardest hit. As of Thursday, there are 1,077 confirmed cases in St. Louis City and 3,049 confirmed cases in St. Louis County. At least 219 people have died across the St. Louis area from coronavirus.

In the past week, the state has added more than 1,200 COVID-19 cases and more than 100 related deaths.

UPDATE 1:33 P.M.: The Moberly Parks and Recreation Board announced Thursday that the city's aquatic center will remain closed through the remainder of 2020.

According to a news release, the park board followed a recommendation from the city and the aquatic industry.

City officials said patrons and employees would have needed personal protective equipment to enter the facility and that it would be difficult to purchase the equipment.

UPDATE 11:20 A.M.: University of Missouri Health Care has given the first transfusions of plasma donated by recovered COVID-19 patients.

The health system said Thursday that it has given the plasma to COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized. It's part of a study to see if plasma from recovered COVID-19 patients can help those still infected fight off the novel coronavirus.

Researchers hope the plasma will give current patients antibodies to fend off the virus.

More than two dozen people who have recovered from COVID-19 have signed up to give plasma, MU Health said in a news release.

"We are extremely grateful to those who have already volunteered to donate, and we encourage others who’ve recovered from COVID-19 to consider donating," MU Health Care infectious disease physician Dima Dandachi said in a news release. "We believe this trial could be promising and it could save someone’s life.” 

MU Health has a pool to work from -- 89 people in Boone County alone have been released from isolation after recovering from COVID-19.

UPDATE 10:29 A.M.: The City of Columbia announced Thursday that city leaders will hold a community briefing going over COVID-19 guidance at 1:30 p.m.

The announcement said the Columbia/Boone County health department director Stephanie Browning, Columbia Mayor Brian Treece and Boone County Presiding Commissioner Dan Atwill will speak at the briefing.

According to the release, the news conference will be held at City Hall and social distancing measures will be in place.

Boone County extended its stay-at-home order last week to match the state's guidelines. It is set to expire on the morning of Monday, May 4. It's unclear if the county will decide to extend the order at the briefing.

As of Thursday, the health department had confirmed 93 cases of COVID-19 and one coronavirus-related death. The health department website said 89 of those have since recovered.

ABC 17 News will livestream the briefing and carry the remarks live on-air when it starts. Watch in the player below.

UPDATE 9 A.M.: Jefferson City announced Thursday morning that City Hall will partially reopen on May 4 after the statewide stay-at-home order expires.

A news release from the city said the building will reopen to the public at 8 a.m. on Monday but the lower level door of City Hall will remain closed until further notice.

The release included city workers will to limit the amount of people inside the lobby to 10.

City workers said downtown parking enforcement and operations at the Madison Street Parking Garage will resume on May 18.

As of Thursday, plans to reopen The LINC and other recreatioal programs had not been finalized.

UPDATE 8:45 A.M.: The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relatioins said Thursday morning that unemployment claims in the past week reached 54,710.

The amount of claims is down by more than 4,000 from last week.

At least 453,189 state residents have filed for unemployment since March 21.

The labor department said 226,394 people filed weekly requests for continued claim status as of April 18. According to the department's website, the state paid out more than $48 million in unemployment claims for that week.

ORIGINAL: Moniteau County leaders are set to go over adopting and extending a stay-at-home order Thursday morning as the state prepares to reopen.

The health center announced last night that the Moniteau County Commission will hear the proposed order at their 9 a.m. meeting.

Health center leadership proposed adopting rules from the statewide order because of an influx of COVID-19 cases reported between April 14-21. If approved by the commission, the order would be extended past May 4 as it expires for the rest of the state.

The announcement said the order could allow for a two-week period to let coronavirus cases decline.

As of Thursday morning, 41 cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed n the county -- there are also 10 probable cases. The health center said Wednesday 22 residents have recovered from the virus.

Since April 21, the county has added at least 19 COVID-19 cases.

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ABC 17 News Team

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