UPDATE 7:07 P.M.: Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin has endorsed the State of Missouri's recent public health warning regarding COVID-19.
The new warning provides three risk categories based on the positivity rate and case rate.
Cole County falls into the "Extreme Risk." The extreme risk category is one that has a PCR 7-day positivity rate above 15% and 7-day case rate per 100K at 350 or above.
Cole County has a reported 7-day case rate of 724.5 (10th in the state) and a PCR 7-day positivity rate of 27.58%.
Mayor Tergin said that "not since the early days of the pandemic has the need to flatten the curve and prevent COVID-19 from overwhelming our hospitals and medical facilities."
Other recommendations for the extreme risk category include:
- Business occupancy - Occupancy limits reflective of social distancing.
- Social group size - 10 or less.
- Masks - Strongly advised in all offices and businesses where social distancing is not possible.
Driver exams suspended in Fayette due to COVID-19 concerns
UPDATE 5:22 P.M.: Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop F reports all driver exams in Fayette are suspended.
According to their Twitter account, the suspension is at the request of the Howard County Commissioners because of COVID-19 concerns.
Testing will remain available in Boonville and Columbia.
Five new COVID-19 related deaths in two counties
UPDATE 5:10 P.M.: Morgan and Randolph County are reporting new COVID-19 related deaths in the respective counties.
The Randolph County Health Department is reporting one death. That brings their total reported deaths to 14.
The county reported 20 new COVID-19 cases to the total cases to 1,257.
The number of active cases has dropped 33 to 313.
The number of recovered cases is a reported 882.
According to the Morgan County Health Center, four residents died due to COVID-19. That bring the total number of deaths to 18.
The total number of cases rose 12 to 1,046 and active cases only went up 5 to 146.
The number of recovered cases is 882.
Boone County passes 9,000 COVID-19 cases; positivity rate drops 12.6 points to 20.5%
UPDATE 4:39 P.M.: Boone County has passed the 9,000 COVID-19 case mark.
The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services reports that with an additional 153 new active cases the total number of cases to 9,081.
The county has reported an additional 91 new cases removed from isolation bringing the cases to 7,906.
The county has reported a 19 case increase to 153 five-day average.
The positivity rate reached 33.1% for Nov. 6 through Nov. 12 but has dropped to 20.5% for last Friday to Thursday.
The health department is reporting an additional six hospitalizations bringing the total Boone County hospitalizations to 153.
Currently there are 44 COVID-19 patients in the ICU.
The number of Boone County residents hospitalized has dropped by one to 35.
The department reports 16 patients on ventilators.
The hospital status is still currently in the 'yellow' zone.
Audrain County issues mask advisory to stop the spread of COVID-19
UPDATE 3:43 P.M.:On Thursday, the Audrain County Health Department issued a mask advisory to reduce the growth of COVID-19 in the county.
According to the dashboard on Friday, the positivity rate in the county is 4.9%, and had an active caseload of 128. Since the beginning of November, the positivity rate for the county has gone from 4.3% to 4.9% with the addition of 50 active cases overall.
In May, the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended before any government reopened that the positivity rate should be 5% or lower for at least 14 days.
Since the beginning of the month, there are nine more residents hospitalized and 27 new long term care active cases.
The health department is asking for area businesses, city councils, mayors and other local leaders to adopt the resolution.
The mask advisory recommends wearing a mask at all times in public or when someone cannot socially distance, wash hands multiple times a day, stay at home if sick or have symptoms and social distance wherever possible.
The mask advisory is not enforceable like the City of Columbia's.
SSM hospitals in Mid-Missouri are implementing stricter visitor guidelines
UPDATE 3:12 P.M.: Starting Monday, SSM hospitals in Mid-Missouri are enacting stricter visitor guidelines because of an increase in COVID-19 cases.
A release from the hospital said visitors will not be allowed into its facilities with certain exceptions. Patients in the birth center are allowed one visitor, pediatric patients must have a guardian with them, surgery patients will be allowed one support person and end of life care patients will be allowed to have a limited amount of visitors.
The updated guidelines included all visitors must wear masks, pass a COVID-19 screening, stay with patients in designated rooms and follow other coronavirus guidance.
The SSM hospital in Mexico relaxed its visitor policy in July. At the time, it allowed all patients to have at least one visitor.
As of Thursday, Audrain County had reported 127 active COVID-19 cases and 797 since the pandemic started. The Cole County Health Department has reported nearly 4,700 cases since March, according to its website.
Missouri organizations form coalition to reduce spread of COVID-19
UPDATE 11:42 A.M.: Multiple statewide organizations have banded together in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
The Coalition for Healthy Missouri Communities was formed in partnership with the Missouri Hospital Association, Missouri Farm Bureau, University of Missouri Extension, the Missouri Chamber of Commerce, as well as, several other organizations.
In a statement emailed from the hospital association, the newly formed group is launching an effort to curb coronavirus infections across the state.
“The huge strain COVID-19 is putting on hospitals is endangering not only those with the illness, but all Missourians who find themselves in a medical emergency and in need of lifesaving care,” MHA President and CEO Herb Kuhn said in the email. “Our hospital ICUs are bursting at the seams, and we must work together to reduce the spread of the disease to reduce the pressure on our critical care resources.”
The state health department said on Friday coronavirus hospitalizations and ICU admissions were at record levels since the pandemic started.
Coalition members started the campaign by asking all Missourians to wear a mask, maintain social distancing and handwashing guidelines.
"The goal of the campaign is to increase protection, thereby reducing the infection rate and driving down hospitalizations," the announcement said.
The hospital association sent a letter to Gov. Mike Parson this week requesting a statewide mask mandate. The governor said during his state briefing on Thursday he would not enforce mask usage or mandate residents to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
The group's outreach campaign will begin on Tuesday, the email said.
A website for the coalition said the organizations are working with all areas of Missouri industries to stabilize the state's health care system.
Missouri COVID-19 hospitalizations set new pandemic record, ICU bed space running out
UPDATE 9:16 A.M.: Statewide hospitalizations because of the coronavirus hit a new pandemic record on Friday going up more than 100 from the day before.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said 2,734 were hospitalized with COVID-19. It's 146 more than the record of 2,588 set on Thursday.
The health department's dashboard revised hospitalizations upward after they initially reported lower on the day before.
The dashboard included 638 with COVID-19 were admitted to Missouri ICUs. Friday's increase is 30 higher over the last day.
Hospital officials say 34% or 6,018 of the state's 17,769 hospital inpatient beds are still available. Hospital data added 29% or 818 of the state's 2,836 ICU beds are still available.
Based on the dashboard, COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU admissions have gone up considerably since the beginning of November.
On Nov. 1, 1,632 people were hospitalized in Missouri, the dashboard said. Since then, hospitalizations have increased by 1,102. ICU stays also went up 134 since the start of the month.
Missouri reported 4,614 new COVID-19 cases over the last day going up to 262,436 since the pandemic started. The state also reported 30 new coronavirus deaths since Thursday.
The seven-day positivity rate calculated using the CDC method went down 1.1% to 22.6% on Friday.
The state ranked 17th in the nation for new covid deaths over the last seven days, 75, and 11th for new cases over the same period, 26,027.
Mexico schools extend distance learning
Mexico School District 59 is extending distance learning until Dec. 4.
In a Facebook post Thursday, the district said it made the decision after watching COVID-19 data in Audrain County along with quarantines and isolations within the district.
On Wednesday, the county reported 128 active cases of the virus and 11 people in the hospital.
It's unclear how many cases or quarantines there are in the Mexico school district. Leaders stopped updating the district dashboard when it switched to virtual learning on Nov. 16.
The district said information about free drive-thru meals for students would be released later.