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WEDNESDAY UPDATES: University of Missouri considers fall schedule change

UPDATE 5:10 P.M.: The University of Missouri will present to its Faculty Council this week a plan to change the dates of the fall semester.

Under the plan, classes would begin Aug. 12, MU leaders said in an email to campus Wednesday. The scenario would have in-person classes ending Nov. 20, with finals from Nov. 30 to Dec. 14.

One plan would also have MU open on Labor Day, Sept. 7.

MU said universities around the country are making similar schedule changes to cut down travel during winter, when illnesses are more common.

Columbia College officials announced a similar plan last week, but with classes beginning on Aug. 31 and ending at the Thanksgiving break.

The Faculty Council will vote on the plan this week. If approved the UM System Board of Curators would vote on the proposal after a recommendation from the system president and MU interim chancellor.

UPDATE 4:15 P.M.: Boone County added nine more cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday, bringing the number of new cases since May 28 to 33.

The Columbia/Boone County health department reported 162 cases Wednesday and an additional COVID-19 death, bringing that total to two since the pandemic began.

Health department spokesman Lucio Bitoy told ABC 17 News the new case was a person who was already hospitalized for a different reason and tested positive for COVID-19.

Wednesday's increase comes after the state wrapped up community sampling for COVID-19 that took place on Monday and Tuesday outside Hickman High School.

National Guard at test site
National Guard and other vehicles sit on the Hickman High School parking lot during community COVID-19 testing Tuesday, June 2, 2020.

A spokeswoman for the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said nearly 1,500 tests were performed over the two days. However, it wasn't clear if or how many of those tests contributed to Wednesday's new case total.

Despite the fast growth in cases over the last week, Boone County has dropped out of the state's top 10 counties in case growth rate.

Boone County's hospitals are treating 17 COVID-19 patients, though none of them are county residents. Of those, 14 are in intensive care and eight are on ventilators.

The local health department says 33 cases are active and another 140 close contacts of infected people are in quarantine.

UPDATE 2:15 P.M.: Missouri's new COVID-19 cases dropped back under 200 on Wednesday after vaulting above that mark for the first time in weeks Tuesday.

The state Department of Health and Human Services reported 13,767 cases Wednesday -- an increase of 192. The department reported three new deaths statewide.

Tuesday's increase of 248 cases was the biggest since May 4.

The department said earlier Wednesday that 6.4 percent of those tested for the live coronavirus since the pandemic began were positive.

Until Wednesday some Mid-Missouri counties had been in the top 10 statewide for case growth rate. However, the updated top 10 on Wednesday did not include those counties.

St. Louis County continues to lead the state in cases with more than 4,900.

Statewide cases have increased nearly 8 percent over the last week, Missouri health officials reported. The Missouri Hospital Association reported 571 Missourians hospitalized with COVID-19 on Tuesday, a drop of 90 from Monday's hospital survey. The state reached its peak at 986 people hospitalized May 5, according to state data.

Wednesday's hospital report was not yet available.

ORIGINAL: St. Louis County Executive Sam Page is asking unmasked protesters to quarantine over concerns about the spread of the coronavirus.

Page on Wednesday said he's concerned days of protests over the death of George Floyd might reverse the progress that St. Louis County has made on the coronavirus.

He's asking people who didn't wear masks or socially distance themselves during recent protests to quarantine. 

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ABC 17 News Team

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