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FRIDAY UPDATES: Boone County hits second-highest daily COVID-19 total

UPDATE 5:05 P.M.: Boone County recorded its second-highest single-day COVID-19 case total Friday, just one day after setting the record.

Columbia/Boone County health officials reported 31 new cases Friday to reach 460 positives since the beginning of the pandemic. The health department reported 153 active cases, an increase of 16 from Thursday.

Another 359 people were in quarantine Friday because they've had close contact with known cases.

The county has experienced a sharp increase in cases in June, adding more than 300 this month alone.

Between June 26 and Thursday, 13.3 percent of county residents tested were positive for the novel coronavirus. The rate at the beginning of the month was 0.9 percent.

Five Boone County residents were hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Friday, down from a peak of seven last week. Boone County hospitals were treating nine COVID-19 patients including those from other counties, with six of them in ICUs and four on ventilators

Health officials issued an alert Friday warning patrons of two bars that they might have been exposed on June 26.

Nic Parks, the owner of Silverball, said in a video posted on the bar's Facebook page that a customer who was at the bar June 26 had tested positive for COVID-19. A bartender who had close contact with that customer tested negative, he said.

UPDATE 3:35 P.M.: The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services is advising people who were at two separate downtown Columbia bars last week that they might have been exposed to COVID-19.

Meanwhile, another downtown restaurant and bar says it has closed because of an employee's positive test.

The health department issued an alert Friday for people who were at Willie's Pub and Pool/Fieldhouse or Silverball last Friday.

"The possible exposure resulted from crowded conditions which resulted in the lack of social distancing requirements businesses are required to follow as part of Special Health Order 2020-07 as well as an inability to identify all possible close contacts," the department said in the alert.

Health officials say people who were in those businesses at the specified time should monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19 and isolate themselves if they experience any.

The department has been issuing alerts about possible public exposures in cases where it is unable to identify people who have come into contact with COVID-19 carriers. Cases have surged in Boone County since late May and the health department said this week the jump has slowed the work of investigators who find and get in touch with those contacts.

Boone County set a record for single-day COVID-19 cases Thursday with 39, bringing the county's total to 429.

The Columbia City Council will vote Monday on an emergency ordinance that would require the use of masks in Columbia, both in public and inside businesses.

Shiloh in downtown Columbia posted on its Twitter account that it was closing until further notice after an employee tested positive for COVID-19. The restaurant and bar said management is working with health officials.

The health department did not issue a public alert about Shiloh.

Closed sign on Shiloh
A sign shows Shiloh restaurant and bar in downtown Columbia is closed Friday, July 3, 2020.

Messages left with each establishment were not immediately returned.

UPDATE 3 P.M.: Missouri fell just short of its record for new COVID-19 cases on the eve of the Fourth of July.

The state reported 547 new cases to reach 22,830. The daily record for new cases, set last week, is 553.

The state counted four new deaths to reach 1,026.

The jump Friday continues a trend of higher new case numbers that has emerged over the past two weeks. During that period the state has set multiple records for new daily cases.

Cases have risen 8.2 percent in the past week, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services online COVID-19 dashboard.

Dr. Randall Williams, head of the state health department, said Thursday that the rate of positive cases in Missouri is falling despite the large number of new cases and the rolling average is now between 4 percent and 4.5 percent.

State officials have attributed the large increases to more testing and regional outbreaks in southwest Missouri and the St. Louis and Kansas City areas.

Nearly 405,000 Missourians have been tested for the live novel coronavirus since the pandemic began, with 5.5 percent of them testing positive, according to state numbers.

The number of statewide hospitalizations reported on the health department's hub jumped by more than 100 to reach 716 on Friday. The peak was nearly 1,000 in early May, according to data posted in the hub.

Cases in central Missouri increased by 18 percent in the final week of June, according to data released by the state Thursday. The jump is driven by gains in several counties including Boone.

Three other Mid-Missouri counties, Miller, Maries and Phelps, are listed on the state's hub among those in the top 10 for case growth over the past week.

UPDATE 1:28 P.M.: The Missouri Department of Corrections website said state prison facilities have added new cases of COVID-19.

According to prison data, 174 inmates and 59 prison workers have tested positive for coronavirus at 16 out of 22 prison facilities. The website said 10 other staff members also tested positive, six of those individuals have since recovered.

Since Tuesday, 19 more inmates and two more workers have tested positive.

The corrections website said both prisons in Fulton have had inmates and staff members with confirmed cases of COVID-19. At least four prisons added coronavirus cases since last week.

According to department of corrections data, 44 inmates and 17 workers have recovered. The website included 12,548 inmates have been tested during the COVID-19 pandemic.

ORIGINAL: Sales tax collections are higher than last year's despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the state budget office reported Friday.

Collections were up 1.8 percent for the fiscal year that ended in June compared to the previous year. Collections went from $2.24 billion in fiscal 2019 to $2.28 billion in fiscal 2020.

Sales and use tax collections were also up double digits compared to May, when a statewide stay-at-home order restricting business ended. Less restrictive statewide reopening orders expired last month.

Collections were up nearly 11 percent over May, according to the report.

The state said net general revenue for the month increased by 1 percent. However, it was down 6.6 percent for the year, with $8.93 billion collected in fiscal 2020 compared to $9.57 in fiscal 2019.

Individual and corporate income tax and franchise tax revenue continued to lag in June, thanks in part to the income tax filing deadline extension to July 15. Individual income tax collections were down 9.1 percent on the year and 8.9 percent compared to May.

Corporate income and franchise tax collections were down 12 percent for the year and about 37 percent from May.

Tax refunds have also lagged amid the extended filing deadline.

Tax revenue has fallen short of initial projections made last year thanks for the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The economic slowdown has led to increases in unemployment, with more than 686,000 Missourians filing for jobless benefits during the pandemic.

The lagging revenue has caused Gov. Mike Parson to freeze millions of dollars in spending from the state budget for fiscal 2021, which began Wednesday.

One of the biggest chunks of the savings is $123 million from funding for K-12 education. Parson also withheld about $28 million from higher education.

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ABC 17 News Team

Comments

1 Comment

  1. Citing the percentage of positive tests without explaining the total number of tests performed is very misleading. Based on the City’s data for the following weeks:

    5/29/2020 to 6/4/2020 => 3,317 people tested with 30 positive = 30/3,317 = 0.9%
    6/26/2020 to 7/2/2020 => 829 people tested with 110 positive = 110/829 = 13.3%

    If we had 110 positive cases with 3,317 tests the rate would only be 3.3%, much less scary.
    Over the last five weeks, 829 tests is the fewest number of tests performed in a week. The number of positive tests is far LESS important than the number of sick people. Why does the City never say anything about the number of sick people?

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