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TUESDAY UPDATES: Health department offers free COVID-19 testing to lawmakers ahead of special session

UPDATE 10:45 P.M.: The state health department is planning to provide free COVID-19 testing to lawmakers ahead of next week's special session.

According to a news release, the testing is voluntary and will be administered by the Department of Health and Senior Services starting Wednesday.

Appointments will be available for people working in the State Capitol on Wednesday, Thursday, Monday and Tuesday. Officials said testing appointments will tentatively also become available in August.

“Members of the General Assembly have expressed an interest in voluntary testing availability during the upcoming special session. After seeing the experience another state legislature had recently, we felt this was a reasonable request,” said Dr. Randall Williams, director of DHSS. “This opportunity is available because of the Governor’s testing initiative which has significantly expanded testing capacity throughout the state, in regards to both volume and accessibility.”

According to the news release, the testing will be paid for with CARES Act funding.

Last week Gov. Mike Parson announced the special session focused on violent crime in the state. It is scheduled to start on Monday.

UPDATE 6:05 P.M.: Camden County health officials say they recorded 65 new COVID-19 cases in a week.

The health department posted late Monday on its Facebook page that the county has 167 cases of COVID-19 – up from the 102 reported a week before. The number of active cases rose by 38 and stood at 59 as of Monday night.

The Lake of the Ozarks-area county is one of several Mid-Missouri counties that have seen significant increases in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks. Miller County’s health department on Tuesday reported 18 new cases since it last updated numbers on Thursday.

The county recorded five more active cases in that time to reach 18. That number was at seven to start the month.

Pettis County is also experiencing a surge in cases, with 10 new cases recorded Tuesday for a total of 241. County health officials also reported 10 residents were hospitalized with the virus Tuesday, a number that has been on the rise.

Cole County added just three new cases Tuesday to reach 199. However, active cases declined by two and now stand at 37.

Other local counties reporting new cases Tuesday are Audrain, Montgomery, Callaway, Howard and Randolph.

UPDATE 4:50 P.M.: Boone County tripled its new COVID-19 cases reported Tuesday compared to the day before.

However, more people recovered from the novel coronavirus than tested positive.

The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services reported 27 new cases Tuesday. That's compared to the nine reported Monday -- one case initially reported Monday was reassigned to a different county, the department said.

The increase brought the county's total cases to 927. The number of Boone County residents who have recovered from COVID-19 topped 700 for the first time Tuesday, hitting 714.

The county's active cases dropped by 10 to 210. Active cases were 317 just one week ago. That drop in active cases reflects in part the slowdown in new daily cases that has taken hold starting last week.

The five-day rolling average of new daily cases stood at 21.6 on Tuesday after peaking at 42.2 on July 11. The county's rate of positive tests also fell about 10 percent last week compared to the week before, according to the health department's COVID-19 online hub.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Boone County has dropped from 29 on Friday to 22 on Tuesday. The county's hospitals reported no shortages of staff, equipment or beds Tuesday.

Columbia Mayor Brian Treece said Monday that the early signs show hope that the city's mask-wearing requirement is working.

UPDATE 4:16 P.M.: SSM St. Mary's said in a release the hospital updated its visitor policy.

The updated policy said all non-coronavirus positive patients are allowed to have one support person visit them each day they're in the hospital.

According to the release, all such visitors must be older than 16, enter the hosptial between 5 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., and 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. on the weekends.

Hospital spokeswoman Jessica Royston said in the release that all visitors will be asked to leave by 7 p.m. Patients at the SSM Family Birth Center are allowed one visitor for their stay.

The policy includes all visitors must wear a mask at all times while inside the facility, all visitors will be subjected to a COVID-19 screening, visitors are required to stay in a patients' room or visitor area, and all visitors must follow hand hygiene and social distancing guidelines.

UPDATE 2:19 P.M.: Missouri demolished a COVID-19 record set this weekend after adding more than 1,100 cases since Monday.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said COVID-19 cases increased to 34,762, up by 1,138. Health officials said cases increased by 0.3% over the past 24 hours and 2.8% over the last week.

A tweet from the health department said 5.7% of all patients have tested positive for coronavirus. The department's COVID-19 dashboard said 580,320 Missourians have been tested.

The Show-Me state added 11 more COVID-19 deaths since Monday bringing the total to 1,143.

According to health department data, 31% of all COVID-19 cases are attributed to people between the ages of 0-29.

On Saturday, the state's single-day increase was 958. The new record beats Saturday's by 185.

Four Mid-Missouri counties broke into the state's top 10 counties for the highest percentage of new cases over the last week. Howard, Osage, Chariton and Maries counties were featured on the list. The COVID-19 dashboard said Howard has seen a 90% increase in cases with 19 as of Tuesday from 10 on July 14.

ORIGINAL: Callaway County added new confirmed cases of COVID-19 over the weekend.

A release from the Callaway County Health Department said there are 81 total cases of COVID-19 in the county. Total cases are up by five since the last time the health department updated its coronavirus information, which was on Thursday.

It included 56 have recovered and 24 others actively had coronavirus as of Tuesday. Health officials said five residents have recovered since Thursday.

One county resident has also died from the virus.

Cases have been reported across eight municipalities in the county, according to the release:

  • Auxvasse: 8 total cases, 5 in city limits, 3 outside city limits.
  • Fulton: 40 total cases, 28 in city limits, 12 outside city limits.
  • Holts Summit: 20 total cases, 16 inside city limits, 4 outside city limits.
  • Kingdom City: 2 cases outside city limits.
  • Millersburg: 3 cases outside city limits.
  • New Bloomfield: 6 total cases, 1 in city limits, 5 outside city limits.
  • Portland: 1 case outside city limits.
  • Williamsburg: 1 case outside city limits.

The release added at least 5,400 residents have been tested for COVID-19.

The update was sent out hours before Fulton city leaders are scheduled to hold a special city council meeting going over a potential mask ordinance.

Callaway / Email Alert – Breaking News / Fulton / Jefferson City / News / Top Stories

ABC 17 News Team

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