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THURSDAY UPDATES: Moberly school district notifies parents of COVID-19 cases

UPDATE 10:20 P.M.: The Moberly Public School District notified parents about COVID-19 cases Thursday.

In a letter, Superintendent Timothy Rolling said there is one confirmed case in Gratz Brown Elementary, one in Moberly High school and one within the middle school football organization.

"The students who were in close contact with these individuals have been notified and are being quarantined and monitored," Rolling wrote. "The District continues to work closely with the Randolph County Health Department through each case identification and resolution."

The health department reported 10 new cases Thursday.

According to the department's data, there are 55 active cases. Of those, nine are currently in the hospital.

The county has seen a total of 205 cases since the start of the pandemic and one death.

UPDATE 6:05 P.M.: Cole County reported its second COVID-19 death in two days Thursday, expanding its already region-leading death toll.

The Cole County Health Department reported a fifth death outside of long-term care facilities, adding to the seven reported in those facilities. The 12 deaths are the most of any county in Mid-Missouri. Camden, Pettis and Saline counties have each reported nine deaths.

The county also logged a daily record of 48 cases as it continues to see a summer surge. The county has reported 252 cases this month alone. That total does not include cases in nursing homes.

This Cole County Health Department graph shows new daily cases in Cole County during September.

The county's active cases increased by 17 to reach 153, not including nursing home cases. The county surpassed 1,000 non-nursing home cases Thursday.

Montgomery County also reported a COVID-19 death Thursday, its second of the pandemic. The health department reported the death in an update without any additional information.

The county reported its first COVID-19 death on Aug. 18.

Two other local counties reported large jumps in COVID-19 cases Thursday, apparently related to new cases in area prisons.

The Moniteau County Health Center reported 21 new cases Thursday, saying 17 of those are in the prison at Tipton.

The county's active cases rose from 20 to 38.

Cooper County's cases jumped 79 to hit 340, the health department reported. The department included a message with the update saying the numbers were influenced by a "clarification of corrections data."

Active cases increased from 50 to 75. The county reported 115 cases in prison inmates.

Boone County records fewer than 100 cases for fifth day straight

EDITOR'S NOTE: The number of new cases in the 18-22 age group was incorrect because of a source error. The number has been corrected.

UPDATE 4:23 P.M.: Boone County saw its fifth straight day of new COVID-19 cases below the 100 mark Thursday.

The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services reported 81 new cases Thursday to bring the total since the pandemic began to 3,680.

The number of active cases in the county dropped below 1,000 on Thursday, settling at 963. Another 1,479 people were in quarantine because of exposure to novel coronavirus.

The department reported 36 new cases in the 18-22-year-old age group Thursday. That group has been powering much of the gains in cases Boone County has experienced over the past few weeks as college students return to campus.

The five-day average of new daily cases in Boone County has decreased by more than half over the last five days. The number was at 69.8 Thursday, according to the department's online COVID-19 dashboard. Its peak was 143.4 on Saturday, when the county recorded a record 221 new cases.

The number of people in Boone County hospitals being treated for COVID-19 stayed steady at 52 on Thursday -- the highest number of the pandemic. The health department reported 21 of those patients are in intensive care and four are on ventilators.

University of Missouri updates mask policy

UPDATE 3:20 P.M.: In an email sent to University of Missouri students and staff Thursday afternoon, MU Chancellor Mun Choi updated the school's on-campus mask policy.

As of Thursday, students who are alone and socially distanced from others will not be required to wear a face covering on campus.

University officials updated the mask policy on Tuesday saying anyone on-campus had to wear a mask except for those exercising or working in a private office.

People on the campus who are within six feet of others are still required to wear a mask, even when outdoors, according to the policy.

Choi said the rest of the university's mask policy remains in effect until further notice.

Missouri COVID-19 rate plummets; now below 13 percent

ORIGINAL: The percentage of people testing positive for COVID-19 over the last week statewide dropped nearly a full point Thursday as Missouri reported more than 1,100 new cases.

However, the rate for the central region came in at nearly 20 percent.

The rate -- which measures the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who get a positive result -- dropped from 13.5 percent Wednesday to 12.7 percent Tuesday. The rate is watched by health officials as a way to determine how much the novel coronavirus is spreading.

Health officials say rates of 10 percent or more are a cause for concern.

The state recorded 1,116 new COVID-19 cases Thursday for a total of 97,591 since the pandemic began. Missouri's Department of Health and Human Services reported 18 new deaths for a total of 1,691.

New case numbers have been down in recent days, with Missouri recording fewer than 1,000 cases two of the last four days. However, testing numbers have also fallen from their peaks in mid-July and early August, according to the state's online COVID-19 dashboard.

Hospitalizations rose by 35 to reach 932 as of Monday, the most recent data available. The record is 1,009 on Aug. 25.

Cases are growing at a faster rate in the Mid-Missouri region than they are statewide.

The positivity rate in the central region of the state for the week that ended Wednesday was 19.3 percent, according to the Missouri Hospital Association's weekly report. The state rate for the same period was 10.7 percent.

Central region hospitals had 38 percent of their beds free during that period and 39 percent of their intensive care beds, according to the association's report.

Boone County, along with Saline and Pettis counties, is among the top tier of counties for cases per 100,000 residents.

Boone / Columbia / Missouri / News / Top Stories / University of Missouri / Wastebusters

ABC 17 News Team

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