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FRIDAY UPDATES: Boone County active coronavirus cases drop for the first time in two weeks; remains above 700

Columbia/Boone County Health Department
ABC17 News
Columbia/Boone County Health Department

The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services is reporting 70 new COVID-19 cases.

There are currently 718 active cases in the county, a decrease of 43 from Thursday. The county now has a reported total number of COVID-19 cases of 20,451.

The county reported 19,615 cases removed from isolation, an increase of 113 from Thursday.

Boone County ranks fifth in the state with the most coronavirus cases per capita in the past week. Cases are up 26.8% on the week. The county has a 15.3% positive test rate, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

The positivity rate of the county for the week of July 9 through July 15 is 40.

The health department's hospital status remains in yellow, with 91 COVID-19 patients in Boone County hospitals and 18 of them being Boone County residents. Of those, 30 are in intensive care and 15 are on ventilators.

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Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services July 23 dashboard

The Missouri coronavirus vaccine dashboard is reporting that 94,621 residents have received their first dose in Boone County and 83,939 Boone County residents have completed their vaccine doses. Boone County has the largest percentage of people in Mid-Missouri that have received at least one dose of the vaccine with 52.4%. The second closest county in the state is St. Louis County with 51%.

Boone County is first in the state with a reported 46.5% of residents that have completed their coronavirus vaccine doses. St. Louis County is second in the state with 44.8% of residents have completed the doses for vaccination.

Cole County has the second-highest first vaccination rate in Mid-Missouri with 43.5%. Montgomery County is third with 38.8%.

St. Louis city and county to require masks in some places

O'FALLON, Mo. (AP)

St. Louis city and county officials say they'll require masks in some places starting Monday, citing a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases spurred by the delta variant.

Officials said in a news release Friday that masks will be mandatory in indoor public places and on public transportation for everyone age 5 or older — even for those who are vaccinated. Masking outdoors "will be strongly encouraged," especially in group settings.

The decision comes as both of Missouri's urban areas see a big uptick in COVID-19 hospitalizations that began in rural areas of the state, especially in southwestern Missouri. Kansas City-area medical leaders may also call for a mask mandate.

Masks required again at Cole County Courthouse as coronavirus cases rise

The 19th Judicial Circuit will again require masks to be worn inside the Cole County Courthouse as the summer coronavirus surge continues.

The mandate from Presiding Judge Jon Beetem, effective Friday, applies to everyone in the courthouse regardless of vaccination status, according to a notice posted to the 19th Judicial Circuit website. Beetem said in the notice that the area's low vaccination rate and number of breakthrough infections make the mandate necessary even though no cases have been identified at the courthouse since last year.

Social distancing is difficult in the cramped and busy courthouse, Beetem said, and the court has a responsibility to look after the health and safety of visitors and staff.

The Cole County Health Department has reported 735 new coronavirus cases this month, compared to fewer than 300 in June. That includes 26 new cases Friday, bringing the county's total to 8,955 outside of nursing homes since the pandemic started.

Cole County ranks sixth in the state for most new cases per capita in the past week, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. About 38.5% of the county's population has been fully vaccinated.

State adds 2,000-plus coronavirus cases for third straight day

Missouri's summer coronavirus surge continued Friday as the state health department reported more than 2,000 new infections for the third straight day.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported 2,027 new confirmed coronavirus cases through PCR testing for a total of 553,636 since the start of the pandemic last year. The state reported another 838 probable cases through antigen testing for a total of 104,965 since the pandemic began.

Friday's report continues a trend of increased infections that has brought Missouri to levels not seen since early January and made it one of the most infected states in the nation. The surge has pushed the state's daily average of new cases past 1,500 and put Missouri in the top five states in the country for new cases per capita over the past week, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

Missouri's new cases are up 18.1% in the last seven days and its positive test rate is 14.4%, according to the state health department.

The summer surge is being driven in part by the state's low vaccination rate, according to health experts. About 41% of Missourians have been fully vaccinated against the virus. While the daily average of new vaccinations is up from its low point earlier this month, the daily average of about 10,500 shots is still well below the peak of more than 55,000 per day in early April.

Boone County is second in the state for vaccination rate at 46.5% behind Jackson County's 54.1%. Rates are far lower in other Mid-Missouri counties -- Miller County has a vaccination rate of just 22.1%.

The surge has also pushed hospitalizations to levels not seen since February. Nearly 1,500 coronavirus patients are being treated in Missouri hospitals per day on average, more than double the numbers of early June. Hospitals in the Springfield area are saying the increase is pushing their capacity and staffing to their limits, prompting Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday to announce state resources to help with the outbreak in southwest Missouri.

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ABC 17 News Team

Comments

1 Comment

  1. “The summer surge is being driven in part by the state’s low vaccination rate, according to health experts.”
    Although there are abundant other reasons, there is one that is inescapable, and perfectly valid NOT to take the vaccine. There is ZERO long term testing. We have no idea what those long term effects might be.

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