UPDATE 5:55 P.M.: Two people's COVID related deaths were reported Thursday by the Cole County Health Department.
Cole County's 14 deaths are the most in central Missouri followed by 11 in Camden County and 10 in Saline County.
In the latest online update, 15 new cases were reported. That brings the total number of cases in the county to 1,264.
The total number of active cases is down eight to 130.
The county is reporting 21 new recoveries.
Trend of fewer COVID-19 cases in Boone County continues
UPDATE 5:10 P.M.: New COVID-19 cases in Boone County hit their second-lowest level in weeks Thursday.
The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services reported 44 new COVID-19 cases for a total of 4,100 since the pandemic began. It was the second-lowest total in more than three weeks.
The county has not recorded a case increase of 100 or more since Sept. 5, the day it set a record with 221 new cases. The streak pushed the seven-day average of daily cases lower Thursday, landing at 60. That's the lowest it's been since Aug. 24, the first day of classes at the University of Missouri.
The county reported 488 active cases Thursday, down 30 from the day before. Another 1,115 people were in quarantine because of novel coronavirus exposure.
Hospitalizations for COVID-19 in Boone County remained high Thursday at 58, well above the number for most of the pandemic. Of those, 21 patients were in intensive care and nine were on ventilators.
The county's COVID-19 surge in late August and early September was powered in large part by new cases in the college-age population. However, those numbers are dropping, with just 14 of Thursday's new cases coming from the 18-22-year-old group, according to the health department's online COVID-19 hub.
Active cases in MU students living in Boone County dropped by 27 Thursday, according to the university. That number is now 202.
The drop in new cases has helped a key rate tracked by Columbia schools to fall to 77.1 on Wednesday. Administrators have recommended all-online classes at levels of 50 or above.
Columbia students are taking classes online but the school board has asked for plans for a phased return to buildings. The board meets next week.
Mid-Missouri COVID-19 positive rate, new cases decline
UPDATE 4:35 P.M.: The rate of positive COVID-19 tests in Mid-Missouri dropped by about a quarter last week, though it remained well above the statewide rate.
The positivity rate for the week that ended Wednesday was 15.6% in Mid-Missouri, according to the Missouri Hospital Association. That's well below the prior week's rate of nearly 20% but more than the state's 10.3% over the last week.
The association reported the region's hospitals have 38 percent of their beds, 45 percent of their intensive care beds and 29 percent of their ventilators available.
New cases across the region had been trending up before falling in the last two weeks, reaching their peak at 1,634 in the week that started Aug. 31, according to the MHA report. That number dropped to 1,042 last week.
The area's positivity rate -- the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who get a positive result -- had been on an upward trend for months before falling last week.
Most of the region's cases over the past several weeks have been in people ages 44 and below.
Two more COVID-19 deaths reported in Camden County
UPDATE 2:55 P.M.: Camden County has added to its COVID-19 death total, reporting two more fatal cases of the disease late Wednesday.
The Camden County Health Department posted an update to its COVID-19 numbers on its Facebook page, reporting 11 deaths. The county last reported numbers last Thursday, when deaths stood at nine.
Camden County added 104 cases since last week for a total of 745. Active cases grew by 12 to reach 104. Camden is now tied with Pettis County for the second-most COVID-19-related deaths in Mid-Missouri.
Cole County has the most with 12.
Several counties have reported new COVID-19 deaths this week. Pettis County reported its 11th death Wednesday and Saline reported its 10th.
Randolph, Morgan and Audrain counties each reported deaths Monday. Miller County reported two deaths Wednesday.
Missouri new COVID-19 cases and deaths grow while positive test rate shrinks
UPDATE 2:25 P.M.: New COVID-19 cases and deaths were up in Missouri on Thursday but the rate of positive tests over the last week plummeted nearly a full percentage point.
The Missouri Department of Health and Human Services reported 1,747 new cases for a total of 108,334 since the pandemic began. The state also recorded 18 new deaths for a total of 1,757 since the pandemic started in March.
The new cases are the highest of the week and the 18 deaths tie this week's highest number. Despite that, the seven-day positivity rate dropped more than a full point to 11.1%. The rate measures the percentage of people tested for coronavirus in a week who get a positive result.
The positivity rate for the entire pandemic is now 8.9%, according to the state's online COVID-19 dashboard, approaching the 10% level that health officials say is cause for concern.
Missouri's hospitalizations dropped to 962 as of Monday, the latest figure available. The number has fallen since Saturday, when it went above 1,000.
Pettis County confirms 11th COVID-19 death
ORIGINAL: Pettis County health officials confirmed Wednesday 11 people have died because of COVID-19 since the pandemic started.
A Facebook post from the Pettis County Health Center said no patient information would be released to protect the family's privacy.
The announcement comes a eight days after the county's tenth coronavirus-related death.
As of Wednesday, Pettis County had 131 active COVID-19 cases and 762 had recovered, according to health center data. Since Tuesday, the county has added 13 new coronavirus cases
The health center included three people were hospitalized for coronavirus.