UPDATE 6:20 P.M.: Cole County's new COVID-19 cases dropped back into the teens Thursday.
The county recorded 11 new cases Thursday. The record, which the county set Saturday during an outbreak that sickened dozens of nursing home residents, is 65.
County health officials have warned of increasing novel coronavirus infections and attributed many of them to people not following recommendations such as social distancing and wearing masks. The county has recorded 341 cases this month alone.
The surge has pushed Cole County into the top 10 jurisdictions in the state for fastest growth in COVID-19 cases.
About half the county's cases are from contact with someone who already had COVID-19.
Pettis County, which has seen a steep increase in cases in recent days, logged 15 more cases Thursday for a total of 665. The county had 567 cases one week ago.
Active cases dropped by 16 and now stand at 126.
Other Mid-Missouri counties reporting new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday include Miller (5), Morgan (1), Randolph (6), Saline (7) and Howard (3).
COVID-19 rate used by Columbia Public Schools jumps with record case totals
UPDATE 5:15 P.M.: The number Columbia Public Schools uses to determine whether classes will be held in-person starting next month has jumped this week after two straight days of record COVID-19 numbers in Boone County.
CPS leaders are using the number of cases over the last two weeks per 10,000 people within the district boundaries. If the number reaches 50, classes will be online-only. If it dips to 10 or fewer classes will be in-person five days a week.
If the number is in between students will attend classes twice a week in person.
The number was at 24.1 on Monday. But following a record-tying 59 cases in Boone County on Wednesday and a new record of 64 on Thursday, the number has jumped up to 29.5.
The school board will meet Monday, when it could make a decision about how the school year will begin. The first day of classes is set for Sept. 8.
UPDATE 4:55 P.M.: The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services reported its highest daily COVID-19 case total Thursday.
The department reported 64 new cases, bringing the total to 1,764 since the pandemic began. The new mark breaks the old record of 59 recorded Aug. 1 and reached again Wednesday.
The five-day rolling average of daily cases has now reached 35.4, the highest level since July 11. The number was at 27.6 on Monday.
New cases have been on the rise this summer in Boone County, as has the percentage of people testing positive for the novel coronavirus. The county has logged 156 cases this week alone.
The cases are also being seen in a younger population. Half of the new cases Thursday were in the 20-24 age range.
The county reported 323 active cases Thursday, which is a jump of 35 from the day before. Another 633 people exposed to the virus were in quarantine.
Boone County hospitalizations for COVID-19 also hit one of the highest numbers of the pandemic Thursday at 31. Seven of those patients are on ventilators, according to the health department's online dashboard.
Public school leaders are watching the numbers closely with schools set to start soon. Many students return to classes next week but Columbia Public Schools does not start until Sept. 8. District leaders pushed back the start date to have more time to evaluate the virus's spread.
Classes begin at the University of Missouri next week.
CPS uses the number of cases over the last week per 10,000 people within the district boundaries to determine whether students will attend class in person. That number went up more than two points to 26.5 after Wednesday's 59 cases.
The number has not been updated to reflect Thursday's total. If the number reaches 50, school will take place online only.
The school board is set to consider how classes will be conducted when it meets Monday.
Lincoln University cancels homecoming because of COVID-19
UPDATE 4:03 P.M.: Lincoln University canceled all 2020 homecoming activities because of COVID-19.
The university made the announcement in an email sent out at 3:45 p.m on Thursday.
University officials based their decision on increasing coronavirus cases around the country and needing to keep people socially distanced.
The university's athletic conference, Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association, canceled all fall sports recently.
Positive COVID-19 rate drops, hospitalizations up in Missouri
UPDATE 2:35 P.M.: Missouri health officials reported more than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday but the rolling rate of positive tests dropped.
The state logged 1,058 new cases Thursday for a total of 71,733 since the pandemic began. It was the second straight day with cases higher than 1,000 after the state dipped below that level Tuesday.
Three new deaths were reported for a total of 1,417.
The seven-day rolling rate of positive tests dropped to 10.8 percent from 11.1 percent. The rate measures the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who had a positive result over the last week.
The state has posted its regional hospital data covering the week that ended Sunday. The central region of the state had a 10.3 percent positive rate for the period covered by the data. That rate has increased from 6.7 percent two weeks ago.
The region's hospitals reported 33 percent of their inpatient capacity available and 15 percent of their ICU capacity available.
The 901 tests performed in the central region were 110 more than the recommended minimum, according to the report.
The state reported 921 people hospitalized with COVID-19 as of Monday, the most recent figure available. The number was nearly 50 more than the number reported a day before and the first time the total has climbed above 900 since Aug. 7.
State leaders say as case numbers continue to increase and the positive rate stays above 10 percent that many of the new positives are in young people. Young people without underlying medical conditions are at the least risk from the novel coronavirus but have the ability to spread the virus to more vulnerable people.
Nearly 886,000 Missourians have been tested for the virus, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services online COVID-19 dashboard.
Mid-Missouri counties have not been spared the kinds of increases seen in other parts of the state. Cole County has vaulted into the top 10 for case growth amid an outbreak that has sickened dozens at a Jefferson City nursing home and increased spread in the community. Boone County is among the top 10 jurisdictions for total cases.
Missouri jobless claims increase breaking two-week trend
The Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said unemployment claims increased last week, nearly wiping a drop in claims from the week before.
Thursday's announcement broke a two-week trend of falling jobless claims, according to state data.
The report said 10,612 Missourians filed initial unemployment claims for the week ending on Saturday.
Unemployment claims were up 1,628 from week to week. Thursday's report said claims closed just under 10,829, the initial jobless benefits filed in the first week of August.
Missouri saw unemployment claims fall for 10 weeks leading into mid-June. Since then, the state has seen claims increase three times.
However, Thursday's report marks the second-lowest amount of initial joblessness claims filed since the COVID-19 pandemic started.
A statewide jobs report released on Wednesday said Missouri's unemployment rate in July fell to 6.9%, down nearly a full percentage point from June. It included the state's unemployment rate was also below the nation's average, which was 10.2% last month.