UPDATE 9:55 P.M.: Audrain County reported its second COVID-19-related death Wednesday.
The county recorded its first death from the disease caused by novel coronavirus on June 1. The county had 89 total COVID-19 cases at that time, with 37 of them active. On Wednesday, the county had 275 cases – an increase of 25 in the last week – with 28 of them active.
The health department did not release any details about the person who died.
Audrain County joins Cole as the only Mid-Missouri counties reporting deaths Wednesday. The Cole County Health Department reported the county’s ninth death, with six of those in nursing homes. Cole is now tied with Saline, Pettis and Camden counties for the most COVID-19 deaths in the area.
Pettis County has reported three deaths since Aug. 25. Camden County reported its ninth death last Thursday.
Deaths have gone up rapidly in Pettis County over the last few weeks – the county reported its fifth death on Aug. 14.
True/False to be held in May
UPDATE 9:25 P.M.: True/False Film Fest will be held in May 2021.
Co-founder David Wilson said in an email the festival will be held May 5-9. He said the festival will be held with largely outdoor screenings.
This year, the festival saw a drop in attendance compared to 2019. It was held in early March.
Camellia Cosgray, director of the True False Film Fest, told ABC 17 News in March that more than 46,600 seats were filled during the fest. That was down from last year's total of about 50,000.
Cole County reports ninth COVID-19 death
UPDATE 7:05 P.M.: Cole County gained 24 new COVID-19 cases and reported another death Wednesday.
According to the health department's website, there have been a total of 873 cases in the county. Data shows 116 of those cases were active as of Wednesday.
The county has seen a total of nine virus-related deaths, six of which were reported in long-term care facilities.
The county's record for daily cases came Aug. 15, when the county recorded 38.
That number could be higher -- the 57 cases reported in nursing home residents are not included in the daily totals, according to the department website.
UPDATE 4:20 P.M.: Boone County has crushed its record for daily COVID-19 cases for the second time in less than a week.
The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services reported 168 new cases of the disease caused by novel coronavirus Wednesday. That beats the old record of 131 set Saturday.
County health officials say the influx of new cases means it could take up to five days for case investigators to contact people who have tested positive.
Cases have risen quickly in the county this summer, picking up pace last month with the return of college students to Columbia. Health officials say the numbers are being powered in large part by the college-age population.
Of the record cases reported Wednesday, 112 were in the 18-22 age group.
The University of Missouri on Wednesday reported an increase of 59 active cases in students living in Boone County. MU also said Monday that it has sent 330 student discipline referrals to accountability officers.
The county health department reported 797 active cases, up from the 691 reported Tuesday. The number of people in quarantine because they've been exposed to novel coronavirus broke 1,000 on Wednesday, settling at 1,038.
The record cases reported Wednesday pushed the five-day average of new daily cases above 100 for the first time. The number hit 112.2, according to the health department's COVID-19 dashboard.
The department reported 42 people with COVID-19 being treated in county hospitals. The record is 46, set last week. Hospitals did not report any shortages of staff, supplies or beds.
Fourteen of those patients are in intensive care and five are on ventilators.
The accelerated growth in cases has pushed a rate tracked by Columbia Public Schools well over the threshold that suggests online-only classes. The school board voted Monday to start the semester next Tuesday without students in buildings.
Cole County health officials again urge residents to follow COVID-19 guidelines
UPDATE 3:20 P.M.: Cole County health officials on Wednesday renewed a call for residents to follow COVID-19 guidelines as the novel coronavirus continues to spread.
"We are seeing increased interaction at social gatherings where social distancing is not easily maintained," the Cole County Health Department said in a news release. "We are urging everyone to continue to take responsibility for their own health and to protect others."
"Please reconsider hosting or attending social gatherings that bring together
more than 25 people that are outside of your normal interactions. These activities are a high risk activity for transmission of the virus. Please adhere to social distancing requirements and limit contact with others outside of your household."
The county logged 484 of its 849 cases reported as of Monday in August. Those numbers do not include the dozens of infections reported in a Jefferson City nursing home outbreak. Eight people have died of COVID-19 in the county, according to the health department's website.
"Separate from the current outbreak at a long term care facility in Jefferson City, positive cases in the community have increased because of increased interaction and a lack of following issued guidance," the department said Wednesday.
Cole County reported 18 new cases Monday, opening September by pushing a streak of double-digit daily case gains to eight days.
Missouri new COVID-19 cases up 400 over Tuesday total
UPDATE 2:45 P.M.: The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported 400 more new COVID-19 cases Wednesday compared to the day before.
The state recorded 1,458 new cases Wednesday after logging fewer than 1,100 cases each of the last two days. The seven-day positivity rate -- a measure of the number of people tested for COVID-19 who get a positive result -- rose two-tenths of a point to reach 12.7 percent.
The new cases bring the state's total to 87,213 since the pandemic began. The state recorded four more deaths for a total of 1,542.
State leaders have said cases and the positivity rate continue to be elevated from the levels seen earlier in the pandemic but many of the cases are in younger people who are less vulnerable to COVID-19's worst effects. However, those younger infected people can still spread the virus to those who are more vulnerable, such as the the elderly and people with underlying conditions.
The average age of those testing positive over the last seven days is 38, according to the state's COVID-19 dashboard. That number has continued to fall in recent weeks.
The state reports nearly 11,000 of its cases are in the 20-24 age group.
Boone County, which has been in the top 10 for overall cases for several weeks, is also now among the top 10 counties in the state for fastest growth in cases by percentage, according to the state health department. The county now ranks third behind Saline and Pettis for the most cases per 100,000 people in Mid-Missouri.
Chariton County has also entered the top 10 for case growth by percentage.
The state reported 934 people with COVID-19 were being treated in Missouri hospitals Sunday, the most recent figure available. The record is 1,009 on Aug. 25.
University of Missouri reports 59 more active COVID-19 cases
UPDATE 1:55 P.M.: The University of Missouri on Wednesday reported an additional 59 active cases of COVID-19 in students over the last 24 hours.
The new cases bring the total number of active cases among MU students living in and tested in Boone County to 483. The numbers were posted Wednesday to a website that MU has pledged to update daily.
Another 209 students living in Boone County have recovered, MU reports.
The university also reported 26 active staff cases out of 31 total and four active faculty cases out of seven total.
The active student cases reported Wednesday are equal to well more than half of Boone County's 691 active cases. Local officials have said a sustained surge in local cases has been driven in large part by positive tests in the college-age population.
Public coronavirus exposure reported in Maries County; cases jump in Miller, Camden counties
The Phelps-Maries County Health Department is warning residents of a public coronavirus exposure in Vienna.
The Crawford County Health Department told Maries County officials that a Crawford County resident with COVID-19 had visited Union Hill Church on Sunday. The person was showing symptoms of COVID-19 at the time.
Anyone in the church should be on the lookout for symptoms and wear a mask in public for two weeks, the department said.
Miller, Camden counties report dozens of new COVID-19 cases
Miller and Camden counties each reported large numbers of new COVID-19 infections Wednesday.
The Miller County Health Center reported 274 cases of COVID-19 in the county, an increase of 20 from Tuesday. The health center reported 47 active cases, an increase of 17 from Tuesday.
The county's hospitalizations also increased one to reach 11. One person has died of COVID-19-related causes in Miller County.
In Camden County, cases have jumped at least 44 since Thursday, with the county reporting 541 COVID-19 cases on Tuesday. The Camden County Health Department says 87 of the cases are active, an increase of 16 over Thursday's reports.
Nine people have died from COVID-19-related issues in Camden County.