Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services is warning residents of a potential scam related to COVID-19.
Officials report a scammer called at least one individual claiming to be a contact tracer and stated the individual was exposed to COVID-19 at a local business.
The scammer then asked the potential victim for their credit card number and asked for the three-digit security code. Contact tracers and investigators will never ask for any credit card, banking information or social security numbers.
PHHS contact tracers are trained in HIPPA and other privacy laws. Tracers and investigators will ask demographic information such as race, ethnicity, age, etc. Any information shared with contact tracers and investigators will not be shared with anyone else.
Pettis County Health Center reports 15 COVID-19 related deaths; Miller County reporting one COVID-19 related death
Pettis County Health Center is reporting 15 COVID-19 related deaths, bringing the total to 66.
Officials say to remember these deaths did not all happen at the same time, the health center just recently received confirmation from the state about the deaths.
The county is reporting a total of 4,326 cases, an increase of 140 cases from last Thursday.
The number of active cases has dropped from 494 to 416.
The number of recoveries has increased 203 cases to a total of 3,844.
The number or hospitalizations remains at 10 for Pettis County
Miller County Health Center is also reporting one new COVID-19 related death. That brings the total number of deaths to 49 since August 2020.
The health center is reporting seven active case drop to 59.
The county has a reported eight case increase to 2,211 total cases.
The health center has reported 14 new recoveries bringing the total to 2,103.
Truman VA giving 2nd doses of the coronavirus vaccine to veterans and employees
Harry S. Truman Memorial Veterans’ Hospital has begun giving the second dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine to employees and veterans Tuesday.
The Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was first administered on Dec. 15 and requires a second dose 21 days later.
“We’re excited that we’ve received additional doses of the vaccine so that we now can begin offering a higher level of protection to more of our Veterans,” said Patricia Hall, PhD, FACHE, medical center director of Truman VA. “We are dedicated to making sure that all Veterans who receive VA care are offered the vaccine.”
Now with more supply, the Truman VA is administering more vaccines to veterans and employees.
“We began vaccinating our high-risk Veterans the first day we started administering the vaccine,” Hall said. “Since then, we have continued to vaccinate our Veterans. At this time, we are contacting our most high-risk Veterans by telephone to ensure they have the opportunity to be vaccinated. Vaccines currently are administered by appointment in our COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic here at Truman VA. We ask that our Veterans remain patient and that they standby for a telephone call from Truman VA to schedule their COVID-19 vaccine appointment.”
Boone County reports 59th COVID-19 related death
Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services is reporting one new coronavirus related death.
Officials say the individual was in the 65-69 age group. That makes 59 total deaths since March 18.
The health department is reporting 109 new COVID-19 cases for Tuesday.
The dashboard is currently reporting 718 active cases, an increase of 34 cases from Monday.
The county now has a reported total number of COVID-19 cases of 14,295.
The county has reported the total number of cases removed from isolation is 13,518, an increase of 74 from Monday.
Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services dashboard has reported the latest five-day average as 92, a drop of 4 in the five-day averages.
The dashboard is reporting the positivity rate of 36.9% for Dec. 25 through last Thursday.
The health department is reporting the total hospitalizations in Boone County at 117 cases.
The number of Boone County residents hospitalized is reported to be 34.
The dashboard is reporting 26 COVID-19 patients in the ICU and 10 patients on ventilators.
The hospital status is still currently in the 'yellow' zone.
Cole County asking residents interested in receiving coronavirus vaccine to answer online survey
The Cole County Health Department and local health care providers are asking residents to fill out a survey so they can plan for vaccinating residents after Phase 1A.
Phase 1A vaccinations include health care workers that interact directly with patients.
There is no estimated timeframe for the transition between Phase 1A and Phase 1B. Phase 1B is for high risk populations, essential workers and first responders.
If any Cole County resident is interested in receiving the coronavirus vaccine, visit their website, www.colehealth.org, and fill out and submit the COVID Vaccine survey located on the main page.
As this situation changes, the Cole County Health Department will be sending out additional information.
Two-fifths of Missouri COVID-19 deaths were in last 2 months
Two-fifths of all of Missouri's COVID-19 deaths were reported in the last two months of 2020, The Associated Press reported Tuesday.
The state health department says 2,369 deaths were reported in November and December. That's about 41% of the 5,825 deaths attributed to the virus since March.
The death toll grew by 263 on Tuesday, largely because a weekly review of death certificates from around the state found 250 connected to the virus that had not previously been reported.
Also Tuesday, the state reported 2,632 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 405,589 since the onset of the pandemic. Coronavirus hospitalizations remain at concerning levels.
The trend of more deaths was present in Mid-Missouri over the final two months of the year, as well. Most of Boone County's 58 coronavirus deaths -- 42 of them -- were reported in November and December.
Coronavirus sewage study numbers show viral load in Missouri
The state has published information from its ongoing study of the prevalence of the novel coronavirus in sewage.
Researchers at the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Department of Natural Resources and the University of Missouri have been tracking the coronavirus in sewage in 59 communities since the summer. They have published their results so far on a website, the health department said in a news release Tuesday.
The study shows virus levels are high but holding steady in Mid-Missouri. Levels are on the rise in Marshall and on the decline in Macon, according to the results. The study looks at the amount of virus genetic material that can be detected in wastewater. The more material, the more the virus is present in an area.
The amount of virus genetic material in sewage peaked in mid-December in Columbia before falling slightly Dec. 20, the latest data the researchers published. The data shows viral spikes in Columbia in late August and again in November. Those dates coincide with spikes in COVID-19 case rates reported by local health officials.
The data shows jumps in the viral load in Jefferson City in mid-October and late November into early December.
Several cities around the area saw large increases in their viral loads this fall, according to the researchers. In Fulton, the load peaked in late October and early November before plummeting. The amount of virus shot sharply higher in Mexico in late November and has only fallen slightly since then.
The study can show researchers where sharp increases in cases are possible several days before those cases show up in positive test results, according to the health department. Researchers say people with coronavirus, both symptomatic and asymptomatic, shed virus in wastewater.
Columbia/Boone County health department revises new COVID-19 cases slightly lower
The Columbia/Boone County health department revised new COVID-19 cases reported on Monday slightly lower on Tuesday morning.
A tweet sent out at 9:12 a.m. said there were 86 cases reported the day before -- three fewer than what was originally tweeted. ABC 17 News did report the correct number of cases on Monday.
The health department said total COVID-19 cases topped out at 14,186 with 684 active cases. It's the lowest number of active cases since early November.
Missouri reports 250+ more COVID-19 deaths
Missouri's state health department reported hundreds of more COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday.
The department's coronavirus dashboard said total deaths since the pandemic started topped out at 5,825 -- an increase of 263 from the day before.
Health officials said in an email early Tuesday morning that 250 of the deaths were attributed to the department's weekly check of death certificates. The email said a few of the deaths happened in August and October -- it included 54 were attributed to people who died in November and 193 in December.
According to health department data, Audrain and Miller counties had the highest rate of virus-related deaths in Mid-Missouri since the pandemic started. The dashboard said Audrain was 12th in the state with 161 coronavirus deaths per 100,000 residents -- Miller was 13th with 160 deaths for the same population size.
Missouri reported 2,632 new coronavirus cases since the last dashboard update. The additional cases bring the pandemic total up to 405,589.
The state's seven-day positivity was slightly lower from the day before at 19.4% -- a decrease of 0.1%.
State hospital officials said 2,657 were hospitalized with COVID-19 and 612 were in ICU beds also because of the coronavirus on Saturday -- the latest data available.