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THURSDAY UPDATES: Columbia moves fireworks display

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

UPDATE 5:15 P.M.: Columbia officials will move the location of the city's Fourth of July fireworks display and increase its elevation to allow more people to see the show from their homes.

The city said in a news release Thursday that the annual show will move to Cosmo-Bethel Park and will reach a height of 300 to 600 feet, compared to last year's 200 to 300 feet.

The park will be closed, but the city says the display should be visible for a four-mile radius and reach 40,606 households.

Parking areas at nearby Gentry Middle School and Rock Bridge High School will be closed.

The city usually hosts the fireworks display downtown with an accompanying festival. However, plans changed with social distancing rules because of COVID-19.

"Residents watching the display should not gather in large groups, nor should they drive toward the park and park on nearby streets," the city said in its news release. "Social distancing is encouraged."

The show, called Fire in the Sky, will take place at about 9:15 p.m. and will be choreographed with music on radio station BXR 102.3.

New case in Callaway County

Callaway County reported another new COVID-19 case on Thursday, the fourth reported in the county since the weekend.

Before that, Callaway County had not reported a new case since June 1.

The new case brings the county's total to 33 with five of them active.

UPDATE 4:20 P.M.: Boone County reported six new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, bringing the number of new cases reported since last Thursday to 42.

The new cases brought the total to 15 over the last four days, as the county continues to add new cases ahead of the lifting Tuesday of statewide COVID-19 orders. The county's total now stands at 204.

Boone County remains under COVID-19 health orders that restrict the number of people in buildings and require businesses to have social distancing plans in place. The current order also limits the sizes of public gatherings.

Under a plan laid out last month by the Columbia/Boone County health director, restrictions are expected to be eased later this month but some will remain in place. Parson said Thursday that local orders can still be enforced after the state order expires Monday.

Boone County reported three more active cases Thursday for a total of 41. Two county residents have died with COVID-19 as the official cause.

The county reports 30 percent of those who have tested positive for the virus are black, despite black people making up only 8.8 percent of the county's population.

County health officials report that nine county residents have been hospitalized with COVID-19, but none currently are. Currently, 49 people are in quarantine because they have had contact with known cases.

UPDATE 2 P.M.: The state again reported more than 200 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday.

Cases went up by 203 to reach 15,390, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The increase was the fourth of more than 200 cases this month. The highest daily total for June so far is 290 a week ago.

It was the second straight day with an increase of more than 200 cases -- the number rose by 274 on Wednesday.

St. Louis County continues to lead the state in cases by a wide margin, with the state reporting nearly 5,200 there Thursday.

Some local counties have seen major increases in cases, as well. As of Wednesday, Boone County had reported 48 cases since June 1 to reach 198 since the pandemic began.

Cases hit 122 in Audrain County, another Mid-Missouri county with recent large increases, on Wednesday and remained at that level Thursday. The county reported only two cases as recently as May 17.

The number of cases statewide has increased by 6.3 percent in the last week, according to the state's information dashboard.

The state has reported about 260,000 tests, with 5.8 percent of people testing positive for COVID-19.

The statewide death total increased by 12 to reach 460 on Thursday.

The Missouri Hospital Association reported 540 COVID-19 patients hospitalized statewide and 2,221 available ventilators Wednesday, the last day for which numbers were available.

The state's hospitalized patients peaked at nearly 1,000 in early May.

UPDATE 12:10 P.M.: Gov. Mike Parson is expected to announce next steps Thursday in his plan to reopen the state's economy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Parson will hold his regular COVID-19 briefing, at which he will unveil the plans, at 3 p.m. at the Missouri Capitol.

The briefing will be streamed live in the player below.

The state's current COVID-19 health order expires Monday. It includes requirements for social distancing and limits on occupancy for retail businesses, along with a ban on public visits to nursing homes.

ORIGINAL: State unemployment claims fell to their lowest level since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

The Missouri Department of Labor said on its website initial jobless claims over the past week were at 19,820.

State labor department data said nearly 22,000 residents filed for unemployment over the entire month of June 2019.

Claims fell by more than 600 from the week before, the smallest week-to-week drop over the COVID-19 pandemic. The decrease in claims marks the second consecutive month of declining unemployment claims filed in the Show-Me state.

As of June, 631,462 Missourians have filed for unemployment benefits since mid-March.

US unemployment claims fell over the past week, at least 1.5 million citizens still filed for unemployment benefits in the first week of June.

Columbia / Email Alert – Breaking News / Jefferson City / News / Top Stories

ABC 17 News Team

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