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FRIDAY UPDATES: Boone County Courthouse worker tests positive for COVID-19, many court cases canceled

UPDATE 6:31 P.M.: The court administrator for the Boone County Courthouse said an employee at the court recently tested positive for COVID-19.

Court spokeswoman Mary Epping said in an email Friday that the court was alerted to the positive case on Thursday.

The spokeswoman said the employee has quarantined and all close contacts at the courthouse were sent home. All areas where the employee worked have been deep cleaned, the announcement said.

"Cases set next week that were supposed to be in person may now only be by video, or postponed to a later date," Epping's email said.

The Callaway County Courthouse nor the Columbia Municipal Court were affected, Epping said.

According to a document sent out by the 13th Circuit Court, the courthouse has returned to phase one of reopening. It added some "critical court proceedings" could still proceed in-person.

The reopening order stipulates that courtrooms, breakrooms, common areas and jury assembly rooms are limited to 10 people or less.

People are required to wear face masks in all court areas, as well as, during proceedings, the order said.

Court activity will be allowed to resume if no other employees test positive within the next two weeks.

State House workers test positive for COVID-19

UPDATE 5:40 P.M.: A spokesman for the Missouri House of Representatives said several workers recently tested positive for COVID-19.

House spokesman Trevor Fox said seven staffers tested positive for coronavirus.

The spokeman wasn't able to provide any additional details.

The Missouri legislature is scheduled to reconvene for a special session addressing violent crime around the state on Monday.

Missouri House Minority Leader Crystal Quade said in an email ABC 17 News obtained in March that State Rep. Joe Runions (D-Kansas City) tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this year.

UPDATE 4:26 P.M.: Boone County added 25 COVID-19 cases on Friday capping off a week of multiple 20 plus increases.

The county's health department tweeted after 4 p.m. that coronavirus cases topped out at 1,003 on Friday.

The tweet said 187 cases were active and 813 had recovered.

It included six Boone County residents were currently hospitalized with COVID-19.

Three residents have died from the virus since the pandemic started.

The average increase over the last week was a little more than 26, accoridng to county data. It included the COVID-19 positivity rate for the week was 7.2%.

UPDATE 3:43 P.M.: The Columbia/Boone County health department said the county added its 1,000th case of COVID-19 on Friday.

Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services tweeted Friday afternoon the county had added at least 22 new cases in the last 24 hours.

According to health department data, the county added at least 100 cases in four days. The same data said it took five days to go from 800 to 900 COVID-19 cases.

UPDATE 3:29 P.M.: The University of Missouri added to its growing list of layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts on Friday.

The university has said the budget actions are cost-saving measures by the university to make up for a budget gap of $27.1 million created by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The university has been keeping track of the actions on its human resource services website.

Univeristy of Missouri

As of Friday, MU added eight layoffs, 36 furloughs and 29 pay cuts over the last week. According to the website, layoffs were at 181, furloughs were listed at 3,634 and pay cuts totaled at 2,346.

The university saved $180,000 through the budget actions, according to MU data. Total savings were up to $18.52 as of Friday.

State breaks daily COVID-19 increase for 4th day in a row

UPDATE 2:29 P.M.: For the fourth straight day, Missouri broke its daily COVID-19 increase record adding more than 1,600 new cases.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said in a tweet statewide COVID-19 cases increased to 39,352 up from 37,700 Thursday.

Friday's case increase was 1,652, just higher than the previous record of 1,637 new cases reported yesterday.

Tweets from the health department said an increase in testing and a backlog of cases at labs led to the record-setting increase.

Health officials said the state will continue to see large case increases until the backlog is done. The health department did not say how long it could take to work through all of the cases.

Another tweet said the seven-day positivity rate for coronavirus tests was up to 7%. The health department's COVID-19 tracking website said the 24-hour positivity rate was up 0.2%

The average case increase over the past week was up to 1,152 over the last week, according to state data.

According to the health department website, 612,615 Missourians have been tested for coronavirus since the pandemic started.

It included more than 50,000 have been tested for coronavirus antibodies, 1,935 have tested positive, the website said.

Statewide COVID-19 deaths went down by one from Thursday. The health department's Friday tweet said 1,178 had died, the department's tweet from Thursday said 1,179 had died.

Health department spokeswoman Lisa Cox said the change were caused by information being added in error.

"(Workers) found several (cases) that had been marked as deaths inaccurately. Records were then updated to reflect the current status of the individual," Cox said in an email.

The spokeswoman said some deaths marked in the last 24 hours were missing personal information like date of birth.

UPDATE 1:18 P.M.: McDonald's announced Friday its restaurants will require patrons to wear masks.

The company made the announcement on its website and said the rule goes into effect on Aug. 1.

According to the post, customers will be required to wear face coverings inside McDonald's stores, protective panels will be installed inside the restaurants and dining room reopenings will be pushed back for at least 30 days.

McDonald's called the current pandemic a "public health crisis" and that the company based the mask rule on guidance from the CDC.

The company's website said it was still working on protocols in case a customer refuses to wear a mask.

"In those situations where a customer declines to wear a face covering, we’ll put in place additional procedures to take care of them in a friendly, expedited way."

McDonald's has also required workers wear masks and personal protective equipment when inside restaurants.

CNN reported Chipotle implemented its own mask rule. It went into effect on Friday.

Signs have been placed in Chipotle restaurants allerting customers to the new policy.

Fulton Public Schools releases school re-entry plan

ORIGINAL: Fulton Public Schools released its return to school plan Friday morning.

District leaders said in the plan they want to keep the upcoming semester as close to a traditional school experience as possible.

"Throughout this next year, many things will remain uncertain but one thing remains the same, we will make all decisions with our student’s health, safety, and education in mind," the plan said.

According to the plan, the school district will increase sanitation, include social distancing in classrooms, implementing COVID-19 screenings for staff and students, providing personal protective equipment and limiting visitor access into school facilities.

The plan also includes online learning for students. Parents have until Aug. 10 to enroll students in the education program called Launch.

District leaders included procedures for COVID-19 infections inside schools.

"Students or staff who display symptoms of COVID-19 while at school will be moved to a designated area within the school building to minimize contact with others until they go home," the plan said.

It added all staff, parents and students will be notified if a student or staff member tests positive for coronavirus.

Boone / Columbia / Education / Fulton / K-12 education / Missouri / News / Top Stories / University of Missouri

ABC 17 News Team



  1. Can some reporter please point out at the next Governor’s meeting that backlog cases that weren’t shown are still considered new cases because we didn’t know about them? Quit trying to hide behind the fact that you can’t get your job’s done in time to let us know how bad these things really are

  2. How do we go about opening up our state when there was this huge backlog of thousands of people that were never reported on. It was a huge wool pulled over the citizens of the states eyes over the fact that there were and are way more people infected with covid-19 than the state is telling us. Do I have to apply for a reporter’s position and get my news credentials so I can ask the simple and reasonable questions to our elected leaders to get answers? How can you reopen anything when you don’t even have a clue about how bad it is?!

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