Lake Regional Hospital is expressing grief during the time of the year when most people are spreading holiday cheer.
The hospital has had 75 patients die this year since July from the coronavirus. The staff of the hospital however remain dedicated, steadfast and ready to care for all patients. The hospitals youngest casualty was a 21-year-old.
Officials say that "responding to this pandemic has been like running a marathon without knowing which mile marker we’ve passed."
On Dec. 21, Lake Regional vaccinated its first group of employees.
Now the Lake Regional Health System is offering coronavirus vaccination to eligible Phase 1a health care workers in the service area, which includes Camden, Laclede, Miller, Morgan and Pulaski counties.
Vaccination will be by appointment only according to the following schedule:
- Lebanon: 12 to 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 28, Wallace Building, 325 Harwood Ave.
- Laurie: 12 to 6 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 29, Lake Regional Clinic – Laurie, 156 Missouri Blvd.
- Eldon: 12 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 30, Lake Regional Clinic – Eldon, 416 S. Maple St.
- Osage Beach: 12 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 30, Lake Regional Training Center, 1193 State Road KK, Ste. A.
Pettis County reporting two COVID-19 related deaths
Pettis County Health Center is reporting two new COVID-19 related deaths.
The health center reports there are 51 deaths since March.
Pettis County has the third most coronavirus related death behind only Cole and Camden County.
The health center has reported 80 new cases since Dec. 18. The county has 3,982 total cases since March.
The county is reporting a 42 case reduction in active cases to 551 cases.
The health center has added 120 recoveries bringing the total to 3,380 cases.
The county has 10 residents currently in the hospital due to the coronavirus.
Boone County reports four new COVID-19 deaths; triple-digit case increase
Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services is reporting four new COVID-19 related deaths.
Officials report the individuals were in the 65-69 and 80+ age groups. This is seven deaths in the last two days. The county has reported 22 deaths in the month of December and 50 overall.
The county is also reporting 102 new COVID-19 cases.
The dashboard is currently reporting 824 active cases, a 23 case reduction since Monday.
The county now has a reported total number of COVID-19 cases of 12,914 since March.
The county has reported the total number of cases removed from isolation is 12,040, an increase of 121 cases.
Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services dashboard has reported the latest five-day average as 97. This is the lowest the average has been since it was 91 on Nov. 4.
The dashboard is reporting the positivity rate currently sits at 32.2% for Dec. 11 through last Thursday.
The health department is reporting the total hospitalizations in Boone County at 144 cases, an increase of seven hospitalization cases.
The number of Boone County residents hospitalized is reported to be 26.
The dashboard is reporting 42 COVID-19 patients in the ICU and 16 patients on ventilators.
The hospital status is still currently in the 'yellow' zone.
MU undergraduate students living on-campus will be required to get coronavirus tested
University of Missouri officials said Tuesday afternoon students living on-campus next semester will have to get tested for COVID-19 upon arrival to campus.
A release from the university said undergraduate students will have to be tested, however, arrival testing will be optional -- but strongly recommended -- for students living off-campus.
MU Chancellor of Student Affairs Bill Stackman said in the release the testing will help the university assess the level of students coming back to Columbia with coronavirus.
“We know that testing does not stop the spread of the virus, but arrival testing may provide us information at that point in time that helps direct our health strategies and precautionary tactics," Stackman said.
Students who are required to get tested can receive the test at their current residence five days before returning to the university or register for a test at a temporary clinic set to be opened on campus.
Students who tested positive for COVID-19 between Oct. 15 and Jan. 9, 2021, need only provide documentation of their positive results. Students who chose to live on-campus over winter break can sign up for a test in the week before classes start.
The university will not accept results from a COVID-19 antibody test that used a blood sample from a vein or a finger prick.
The fall semester ended last week and the spring semester starts on Jan. 18, 2021.
Audrain County Health Department receives Moderna vaccine, starts vaccinations
Health officials with the Audrain County Health Department have started vaccinating area health care workers, according to a release sent Tuesday morning.
Health department spokesman Chris Newbrough said in the release the health department ordered 200 doses of the Moderna coronavirus vaccine -- the department received its first shipment of the vaccine this week.
The Moderna vaccine received federal approval on Friday.
The release said the department has been contacting health care workers not associated with SSM St. Mary's in Mexico recently to schedule the vaccinations. Health care workers who receive a dose today will have to wait 28 days until they can receive the second shot.
SSM vaccinated hundreds of its Mid-Missouri employees last week with Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine. SSM St. Mary's in Jefferson City received nearly 5,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine in its first shipment.
SSM hospitals to close coronavirus testing sites on Christmas Day
A release from SSM Health said COVID-19 testing sites at its hospitals in Mid-Missouri will be closed on Christmas Day.
Hospital officials said the drive-thru testing site at the health system's hospital in Mexico will be closed from Thursday through the holiday weekend. It's scheduled to reopen on Monday.
SSM St. Mary's Hospital in Jefferson City will not have drive-thru testing on Christmas Day or the day after -- it will be open on Christmas Eve and reopen on Sunday.
Missouri surpasses 5,000 COVID-19 deaths
The state health department reported total COVID-19 deaths since the pandemic started have surpassed the 5,000 mark.
An update on the state coronavirus dashboard said 5,158 Missouri residents have died because of COVID-19 as of Tuesday.
Virus-related deaths updated on Tuesday included at least 140 that were added during the health department's weekly check of death certificates. A release sent late Monday night said health officials hadn't yet finished the weekly check as of 11:54 p.m.
Total coronavirus deaths stood at 4,947 on Monday.
The health department also reported 2,123 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday -- bringing the pandemic total to 370,439.
Health officials said the statewide seven-day positivity rate fell 0.2% to 17.1% on Tuesday.