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THURSDAY UPDATES: The Blue Note postpones shows, citing coronavirus case rates

The Blue Note on Ninth Street in Columbia
The Blue Note on Ninth Street in Columbia

The Blue Note in downtown Columbia says on its website that the Friday showing of The Band's "The Last Waltz" and other upcoming events are postponed as the coronavirus continues its unprecedented spread.

The Blue Note

"It felt really good to have live music filling the building again and with it a surge of hope," the venue said in a message posted to its website. "But with the increase in COVID-19 cases in the area as we head into the holiday season, we feel it's time to once again ... do our part for the health and safety of the community and close our doors for the time being."

Among the canceled events is a yearly showing of "The Last Waltz," the iconic concert film featuring The Band and directed by Martin Scorsese. The venue's website says shows through December are canceled.

The Blue Note and its sister venue, Rose Music Hall, shut their doors early in the pandemic but began hosting events as coronavirus infection rates slowed and health regulations relaxed.

Now Mid-Missouri, including Boone County, is in the grips of a major surge in coronavirus cases. According to the latest White House task force report, the entire area is in the "red zone" for high rates of new infections.

Boone County recorded 665 new cases from Saturday through Wednesday. Health officials on Monday instituted a mask requirement for the entire county to slow the spread of the virus, citing hospitals that are near capacity.

Missouri passes 100,000 coronavirus cases in November

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported 4,471 new cases of the novel coronavirus on Thursday.

The new cases bring the state's total to 287,263. Missouri how now recorded more than 100,000 cases in November, more than a third of the total during the 10-month pandemic in a little more than three weeks. Cases stood at 185,535 on Nov. 1.

The state also surpassed 3 million tests Thursday.

The state reported 32 new deaths associated with COVID-19, bringing the total to 3,808 since the pandemic began.

This graph from the Missouri Department of Health and Human Services details COVID-19 cases in the state.

Missouri now ranks No. 13 in the nation for new cases over the last week, according to the health department's online dashboard. The positivity rate is nearly 20% statewide.

The state's hospitals were down to 19% available bed capacity and 18% intensive care bed availability. Nearly 2,700 people with COVID-19 were receiving hospital care Wednesday, down from more than 2,800 a week ago.

The situation is better in the central region of the state with 23% of hospital beds available as of Wednesday and 31% of intensive care beds open.

Hospitals in Mid-Missouri and statewide have issued calls for a statewide mask mandate and for residents to take steps to reduce the spread of the virus. Several local governments, including Boone County, have made mask orders but the state has no mandate.

Missouri unemployment claims rise

Statewide unemployment claims rose by more than 2,000 last week.

Claims for the week that ended Saturday rose to 10,604 compared to 8,320 the week before. The new claims were the most in a week since early September.

In Boone County, 146 workers filed claims and 82 workers filed claims in Cole County, according to state data. Nearly 15,000 Boone County workers filed claims related to the COVID-19 pandemic between March and October. However, the unemployment rate was just 2.6% in Boone County in October.

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ABC 17 News Team


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