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THURSDAY UPDATES: Boone County COVID-19 cases make largest single-day leap

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

UPDATE 4:50 P.M.: Boone County's COVID-19 cases made their largest daily jump Thursday since the pandemic began.

The county's cases jumped 18 on Thursday to reach 250. Active cases went up by 16 to reach 59.

The 18-case increase is the highest of the COVID-19 pandemic. The previous high was 12 new cases on March 26. The county has seen consistent gains in new cases over the past several weeks after little to no growth for several weeks for parts of April and May.

The increase comes the same day Columbia and Boone County health officials unveiled a plan to relax COVID-19 restrictions starting Tuesday, including eliminating occupancy requirements for most businesses.

Other Mid-Missouri counties have also experienced large gains in cases recently. Callaway County in a release Thursday said it has counted nine new cases over the past week to reach 41. Ten of those cases are active.

Randolph, Montgomery, Miller and Pettis counties each gained one new case Thursday.

The state gained 283 new cases Thursday, the ninth time this month that cases have increased by more than 200.

JC Schools to have plan for return next month

Jefferson City School District officials hope to have a plan for returning to school in the fall by mid-July, the district said in a letter to students sent Wednesday.

More than 3,500 parents and guardians had responded to a survey asking about fall preferences as of Friday, the district said in the letter. The biggest segment of the respondents wanted in-person classes with increased sanitation, the district said.

"We understand and share the desire to get back to school and return to in-seat education if at all possible, and we will work diligently to outline measures that will allow us to return to school while keeping our staff and
students safe," the district said in the letter.

District leaders said they are consulting with state education and local health officials as they plan fall classes. The district cautioned that the COVID-19 situation can change rapidly.

The district says no plans are in place to change the state date of school, Aug. 24.

UPDATE 2:25 P.M.: Missouri's new COVID-19 cases and deaths from the disease caused by the novel coronavirus took large leaps Thursday.

New cases increased 283 from Wednesday to reach 16,908. Deaths went up 37 in one of the biggest single-day increases since the pandemic began. State officials for the second straight day attributed the large increase in deaths to delays in reporting from one jurisdiction.

The increase brought the state's number of deaths since the pandemic began to 946.

Cases have increased 6.9 percent over the past week, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported on its COVID-19 dashboard website. The state reported more than 297,000 people have been tested for signs of live coronavirus, with 5.6 percent of those testing positive.

The 283-case increase reported Thursday is the ninth of more than 200 cases this month. State officials have said the increases in new cases could be attributable to increased testing happening around the state.

In Audrain County, seven inmates and seven workers had tested positive at the women's prison in Vandalia as of Wednesday, bringing that county's total higher.

The county health department said the testing contributed to an 11-case increase between Tuesday and Wednesday. Two of the workers who tested positive live in another county and one of the cases was previously diagnosed, the department said.

The Missouri Hospital Association reported 533 Missourians hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Wednesday. The number is well below the peak of nearly 1,000 in early May.

Thursday's report was not yet available.

UPDATE 11:45 A.M.: The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services has released a new COVID-19 health order that will take effect Tuesday.

The new order relaxes rules including occupancy limits on most businesses. More about the order is available here.

UPDATE 11 A.M.: Several Mid-Missouri counties confirmed new COVID-19 cases on Thursday.

The Callaway County Health Department said on its website nine people have tested positive for coronavirus this week. According to the post, 10 of the cases are active and one person has died.

County health workers have confirmed 41 around the county since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A Facebook post from the Camden County Health Department said health workers have identified recent COVID-19 cases linked a group of friends and co-workers at Lake of the Ozarks-area businesses between June 7-15.

The post said six coronavirus cases were confirmed in Camden County, two in Miller County and one other in Morgan County.

The health department said people who tested positive have been notified and asked to self-quarantine.

According to the post, it's likely more COVID-19 cases could be confirmed linked to the cluster "due to the high number of contacts and businesses involved."

As of Thursday, Camden County had at least 45 confirmed coronavirus cases. There are at least nine confirmed cases in Miller County and 13 in Morgan County.

UPDATE 10:25 A.M.: An employee of a Columbia bar who tested positive for COVID-19 did not start showing symptoms until Sunday, the bar says.

The Shot Bar posted on Facebook on Wednesday warning patrons that an asymptomatic employee who worked Saturday had tested positive for COVID-19. The bar said in response to an inquiry from ABC 17 News that the employee did not show symptoms until Sunday and subsequently tested positive Monday.

"This staff member was not serving drinks and was wearing a mask, but being such a small venue we wanted to alert everyone as quickly as able," the bar said in its statement.

The bar will be closed until Saturday for cleaning. All staff who worked last week are in quarantine for 14 days, the bar said.

UPDATE 9:12 A.M.: University of Missouri Health Care updated its visitor policy Thursday morning to allow patients to have at least one visitor.

MU said previously no visitors were allowed inside its hospitals, clinics or outpaitent facilities.

The hospital system's website said all patients staying overnight at MU Health Care hospitals, emergency rooms, and outpatient facilities would allowed to have one visitor accompany them.

The updated policy included pediatric patients, those in childbirth, as well as end of life care will be allowed two visitors.

Visitors will be required to wear a wrist band or name badge and must be older than 16, according to the website.

The policy said visitors are allowed inside University Hospital and the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute between 1 and 4 p.m. Patients at the Missouri Psychiatric Center can have visitors between 4 and 8 p.m., the policy said.

According to the policy, no visitors will be allowed at MU Family Medicine and Urgent Care facilities until further notice.

This week Boone Hospital Center, SSM St. Mary's and Capital Region Medical Center also updated their visitor policies.

ORIGINAL: Missouri has seen a continued drop in jobless claims since mid-April after another slight fall on Thursday.

The Missouri Department of Labor said 18,679 state residents filed initial unemployment claims over the past week, down from 19,820 the week before.

The drop in unemployment claims marks the ninth week in a row of falling claims.

At least 650,141 Missourians have filed for unemployment since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The US Department of Labor said about 1.5 million filed jobless claims last week.

Callaway / Camden / Columbia / Email Alert – Breaking News / Miller / Missouri / Morgan / News / Top Stories

ABC 17 News Team

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