UPDATE 9:23 P.M.: Moberly Public School District is reporting two new students that tested positive for COVID-19.
Because of the two positive tests, 14 students are going to quarantine due to being close contacts.
So far this week three high school students, two high school staff, one middle school student, one middle school staff and on North Park staff tested positive. 33 students were forced to quarantine due to the positive tests.
In the Jefferson City School District, one student at Belair tested positive and one close contact was reported. At Pioneer Trail, one staff tested positive and two students were deemed close contacts.
At the district since August 24, there have been 105 students that tested positive and 75 staff members that tested positive.
Cole County reports 20th COVID-19 related death
UPDATE 6:48 P.M.: Cole County is reporting their 20th death related to COVID-19.
According to the health department, the person that died was being taken care of in a long-term care facility.
Cole follows only Camden and Pettis County in number of deaths reported.
The number of active cases in the county dropped by 31 to 187 total.
The number of recoveries jumped 60 to 2,148.
The overall number of total cases in the county went up by 35 to 2,469.
Boone County hospitalization numbers remain high; 2 mid-Missouri counties report COVID-19 deaths
UPDATE 5:35 P.M.: Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services is reporting the second-lowest number of new COVID-19 cases in the county in the last 10 days.
According to the health department, 27 new cases were reported today bringing the total overall number of cases to 5,766.
The county is also reporting 59 new recoveries and a drop of 32 active cases to 348 total.
The decrease in active cases help drop the 5-day average back down to 39.
The county is reporting 87 people are currently hospitalized due to the pandemic, a rise of two from Wednesday but still four below the record of 91 set on Monday.
The number of Boone County residents hospitalized because of the novel coronavirus remains at 16. The county is reporting the number of ICU patients is at 25 and 12 of them are on a ventilator.
In Miller County, the health department is reporting two new COVID-19 related deaths. This is the fourth reported deaths in two days.
Miller County now passes Columbia with 18 deaths compared to 16. Miller County has an estimated population of about 25,000, compared to Columbia's approximately 180,000.
The county is reporting 20 new cases overall, bringing the total to 878. The number of active cases dropped by 4 to 124.
The Cooper County Public Health Center is reporting their third COVID-19 related death, the deceased was over the age of eighty.
The health center took away one death Wednesday because the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported the "individuals who do not have COVID-19 or coronavirus listed in the primary or secondary cause of death will not be counted as COVID-19 related."
Vienna School District shuts down after a large number of COVID-19 cases
UPDATE 4:35 P.M.: Vienna School District is shutting down the school after Phelps Maries County Health Department recommended the closure due to a large increase of positive COVID-19 test results and the number close contacts within the school.
The school will be closed to students starting Friday and remain closed through next week.
The district says they are hoping to return to seated classes the week of November 2 but will be evaluating that choice next week as the reopening date approaches.
Students will continue with virtual classes and activities during this closure time.
Callaway County court moves to phase 3
UPDATE 4:10 P.M.: The Callaway County court is now moving to phase 3 after 5 p.m. Thursday after no new positive tests were reported in the past 14 days.
Because the court is moving to phase 3, this removes the 25 person limit of courtrooms/large venues.
The court originally moved to phase 1 on Sept. 24 after a court employee tested positive for COVID-19. The court moved to phase 2 on Oct. 8.
On August 1, the Supreme Court updated its operational directives with a guidelines that states: If any court employee, bailiff, or other court personnel currently working in a court facility tests positive for COVID-19, the presiding or chief judge shall move that court facility to Operating Phase One or Zero.
Face masks or coverings shall be required in all public court areas and during all court proceedings unless good cause is shown to limit the requirement in particular proceedings. The
court has a limited number of face shields available for witnesses and parties if needed.
The court will continue utilizing available technology when possible to limit in-person courtroom appearances to the extent practicable.
It should be noted this change in phases is limited to the court, the courthouse as a whole will continue to function as normal.
State expands list of child care facilities eligible for CARES Act money
UPDATE 1:20 P.M.: The state expanded a list of child care facilities that can receive CARES Act money.
Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced he allocated $10 million in emergency relief for the facilities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A release from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said child care providers licensed through the state, Department of Social Services and those with a department vendor number are now eligible to receive emergency funding.
The facilities can request reimbursement for pandemic-related expenses between March 1 and Dec. 30.
Providers have until Nov. 15 to submit requests, the release said.
Fulton encourages trick-or-treating as cases increase at school districts
UPDATE 11:40 A.M.: City of Fulton leaders said Thursday they encourage trick-or-treating on Halloween with health guidelines in place.
The announcement was made as Fulton School District has reported new COVID-19 cases and South Callaway R-II moved in-person classes online.
Officials with the city and the Callaway County Health Department said in the release steps can be taken to ensure trick-or-treating can be done safely.
The release directed residents handing out candy not to have direct contact with trick-or-treaters, give out treats outdoors and wear a mask.
Similarly, trick-or-treaters were asked to wear a mask but that costumes do not substitute for cloth or medical masks. The release included wearing a Halloween mask over a cloth mask can make breathing difficult.
Social distancing and hand-washing are also encouraged on Halloween night, according to the release.
As of Thursday, all South Callaway R-II classes were moved online, according to an announcement posted on Wednesday.
The release said the decsision was made because of increasing COVID-19 cases.
Classes will be virtual through Oct. 30 with students expected to return in-person on Nov. 2, district officials said.
Two more positive cases were reported in the Fulton School District on Thursday, according to the district's website.
The district has reported at least three new cases this week. Since Tuesday, 19 more students and staff have had to quarantine after being considered close contacts. The district was up to 86 in quarantine on Thursday.
The website said there were six active cases across the district.
Missouri COVID-19 hospitalizations hit lowest level in more than a week
Statewide COVID-19 hospitalizations hit the lowest level in more than a week, according to health department data updated Thursday morning.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services coronavirus dashboard said 1,349 were in hospitals because of COVID-19 on Monday, the last day data was available.
It's the lowest level of virus-related hospitalizations since Oct. 10, according to the dashboard. The seven-day hospitalization average was 1,417 on Monday.
Missouri COVID-19 cases went up to 162,723 on Thursday, 1,854 more than Wednesday's total. Virus-related deaths went up 16 since the dashboard was updated.
The state ranked sixth in the US for new cases over the last seven days, 10,655, and seventh for new COVID-19 deaths over the same period, 68.
Health officials said Missouri's coronavirus positivity rate remained high for the third day in a row. By the state's count, the rate was 21%. It was 10.8% using CDC calculations.
Coronavirus testing was up to 2.34 million, about 19,600 higher than Wednesday's total.