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THURSDAY UPDATES: Lincoln University to host online graduation

EDITOR'S NOTE: The date of Lincoln's planned reopening was corrected. The school later delayed the opening until July 27.

UPDATE 10 P.M.: Lincoln University will host an online graduation for its 2020 seniors on Aug. 1 as COVID-19 numbers continue to increase.

The university announced the decision Wednesday, saying the ceremony will take place at 2 p.m. Aug. 1.

Lincoln officials said Thursday that the campus will reopen to the public July 20, as well. Lincoln’s Jefferson City campus welcomed employees back May 4 but stayed closed to the public as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19.

Visitors will have to wear masks and social distancing will be maintained, Lincoln said in its announcement.

UPDATE 5:15 P.M.: Cole County set a new record Thursday for a single-day increase in COVID-19 cases.

The county reported 13 new COVID-19 cases to reach 115. Active cases also went up 13 to reach 34. The total beat the high mark of 10 set in late March.

Cole County, like many in Missouri, has seen a marked increase in COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks. The county has reported 34 new cases in the last week after reporting only a few through May and the first part of June.

As of Tuesday nearly 7,800 county residents have been tested.

Thursday was the final day in Cole County of community COVID-19 testing open to anyone regardless of if they have symptoms. It wasn't clear how many of the new positives came from that testing.

Saline County reports death; cases rise around Mid-Missouri

A fifth person has died from COVID-19 in Saline County, however, health officials say the person only resides there part-time.

The county has recorded the most deaths of any central Missouri county during the pandemic. The Saline County Health Department reported the death Thursday.

“It is our understanding that his mailing address was located in Saline County, but he mainly resided in another area of Missouri,” the department posted on Facebook. “Although location doesn’t matter it’s another death in Missouri and we’re saddened to hear this news.”

The county added three more cases Thursday, with two more active cases, to reach 324 overall.

Several Mid-Missouri counties added new COVID-19 cases Thursday as the state recorded its second record daily increase in the last three days.

Randolph County reported three new cases, bringing its total to 17 with five active. Audrain County added one case to reach 143 but active cases dropped by eight to reach six.

Montgomery County reported three new cases but the number of active cases dropped by three to reach six.

One of the largest jumps was in Miller County, which started the day with 27 cases but reported 31 Thursday evening. The county has 14 active cases.

Pettis jumped five cases but its number of active cases rose by three to reach 32.

UPDATE 4:40 P.M.: Boone County recorded its second-highest daily COVID-19 case total Thursday, one day after setting a record.

The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services reported 639 cases Thursday, an increase of 42 over the total reported Wednesday. Cases went up by 52 on Wednesday after the department reported a late case added to that day's total.

The county has recorded 142 new cases from Monday through Thursday as the fast growth in cases continues. State health director Dr. Randall Williams said Thursday that Boone is one area helping to drive the fast rise in cases statewide. Missouri has set two daily case records in three days.

Health officials reported an increase of 28 active cases to reach 259 as some recoveries offset new cases. Another 467 people are in quarantine because they've had close contact with COVID-19 cases, according to the Columbia/Boone County COVID-19 information hub.

Of those who have tested positive, 58 percent in Boone County are younger than 30. Health officials locally and statewide have said more new positive tests are being seen in young people.

Nine Boone County residents are hospitalized with COVID-19, which is one of the highest numbers of the pandemic. The county's hospitals are treating 22 COVID-19 patients in all, which is also one of the highest numbers of the pandemic.

University of Missouri Health Care reported Thursday that it is treating 20 COVID-19 patients.

The county's five-day rolling average of new cases vaulted from 27.6 on Wednesday to 32.4 on Thursday after two days of major increases.

The increase in cases has also come with a jump in the positive rate of those tested, which reached 15.7 percent in the week ending last Thursday. New numbers for the past week were not available at publication time.

The county's hospitals reported no shortage of equipment, labor or space Thursday.

UPDATE 2:15 P.M.: Missouri set its second record for new COVID-19 cases in three days Thursday.

The state reported 795 new cases Thursday to reach 25,999 since the pandemic began. The increase was 22 cases higher than the previous record of 773 set Tuesday.

Deaths increased by five to reach 1,051.

Missouri like many states has seen a surge in cases starting in June that has pushed COVID-19 numbers to higher levels. The United States as a whole has also set numerous records for new daily COVID-19 cases.

Some local counties have also seen large spikes in cases. Boone County reached 600 cases Thursday after logging 100 cases over just three days.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services on its COVID-19 online dashboard reported an 8.4 percent increase in COVID-19 cases over the past seven days.

Nearly 455,000 Missourians have been tested for live coronavirus, with 5.5 percent of them having the virus.

Hospitalizations attributed to COVID-19 have increased slightly from historic lows state officials cited a few weeks ago, Dr. Randall Williams, director of the state health department, told ABC 17 News on Wednesday.

The state reported 694 people hospitalized as of Sunday. That number hovered around 600 or lower for much of June. University of Missouri Health Care reported 20 patients with COVID-19 hospitalized Thursday, up from 16 on Wednesday.

Out of the 1,051 deaths, only 29 are in people under 50 years old.

Williams and Gov. Mike Parson have said the large jumps in cases are in part attributable to regional outbreaks and increased testing. More young people are testing positive for the virus, officials say.

UPDATE 1:40 P.M.: Multiple restaurants around the Lake of the Ozarks closed temporarily because of COVID-19.

Li'l Rizzo's and Barn-B-Que Smokehouse in Lake Ozark, as well as, Camp Bagnell in Eldon made statements on Facebook this week.

The Lake Ozark restaurants said on Facebook an employee at either business recently tested positive for COVID-19.

According to the posts, both restaurants have temporarily closed but will reopen soon. The posts included all restaurant employees will be tested and the businesses will be cleaned.

Both restaurants said workers will wear masks and their temperatures will be taken when the locations reopen. It's unclear if any customers were infected with coronavirus after visiting the restaurants.

A post on the Camp Bagnell Facebook page said a customer recently tested positive for COVID-19.

The restaurant said it was temporarily closed until Friday morning. Employees will be tested for coronavirus and the business will be sanitized, according to the post.

As of Thursday, the Camden County Health Center said there were 80 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with 11 being active. Miller County health officials said 25 residents have tested positive for COVID-19, 10 of which actively had the disease and another who was hospitalized.

UPDATE 11:39 A.M.: Missouri unemployment claims fell in the first week of July a week after the state broke a more than a two-month streak of declining claims.

The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said on its website jobless claims for last week were at 17,527, down from 1,544 the week before.

Last Week's claims were at their second-lowest level during the COVID-19 pandemic. Claims were lowest in the third week of June at 17,165.

As of Thursday, more than 703,000 Missourians have filed for unemployment benefits during the pandemic.

The US saw decrease claims as well, 1.3 million Americans applied for benefits last week.

UPDATE 9:57 A.M.: The Columbia/Boone County Health Department tweeted Thursday morning positive COVID-19 cases have crossed the 600 mark.

Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services officials said the county added 100 new cases in three days.

Health workers said Wednesday there were 597 coronavirus cases after reporting the county's largest daily increase in COVID-19 cases.

According to health department data, health officials confirmed at least 200 COVID-19 cases since July 2.

As of Thursday, Boone County has confirmed more coronavirus cases than any other Mid-Missouri counties. Saline County had the next highest concentration of cases with 321 as of Wednesday night.

ORIGINAL: University of Missouri Health Care said it's adding a second COVID-19 drive-thru testing site with testing volume increasing recently.

MU Health Care spokeswoman Jesslyn Chew said in an email Thursday morning the new testing site will be located at the Mizzou North building at 115 Business Loop 70 W.

The release said the site is set to open on July 13 and will be in operation from 8 a.m. - 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. - noon on Saturdays.

Chew included the original testing location near the Mizzou softball stadium has seen continued use since it opened in March. On average, 300 people were tested each day last week, according to the release.

The spokeswoman said the average number of tests has doubled this week. About 650 received tests between Monday and Wednesday.

Chew said some have waited in line for hours to receive the COVID-19 test this week.

According to the release, people awaiting test results won't receive a phone call if they tested negative. Results will be posted to MU's HEALTH Connect portal within 72 hours. Chew said people who test positive will still receive a phone call.

Boone / Camden / Cole / Columbia / Email Alert – Breaking News / Lake of the Ozarks / Miller / Missouri / News / University of Missouri

ABC 17 News Team


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