The Springfield-Greene County Health Department and the Springfield-Greene County Office of Emergency Management have withdrawn their request for an Alternate Care Site.
“We appreciate the tremendous work our state health and emergency management teams have been doing. They are working closely with our Springfield-Greene County partners to meet critical health care needs,” Governor Parson said. “The Delta variant remains a very serious concern, and our response efforts continue across Missouri. The rapid setup of a state-operated infusion center and deployment of ambulance strike teams are relieving the strain on our health care system. We applaud these public servants for their tireless efforts and remind everyone to take COVID-19 seriously. Vaccinations are free, readily available, and the best way to combat this deadly disease.”
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) COVID-19 statistics show that while cases remain high, new COVID-19 cases have dropped by 24 percent compared to the previous seven days.
Through Wednesday, the ambulance strike teams have transported 87 coronavirus patients to hospitals outside the Springfield area to help area hospitals.
“This has been a tremendous team effort in every sense of the term,” DHSS Acting Director Robert Knodell said. “Public servants at DHSS and SEMA who have been working almost nonstop to respond to COVID-19 since March 2020 have once again demonstrated their skill and commitment to fighting this highly adaptable disease. They’ve done a great job collaborating with their Springfield-Greene County counterparts to respond to critical health needs in an expedited and efficient manner.”
Boone County coronavirus active cases rise to over 700
The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services is reporting 130 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday.
There are currently 735 active cases in the county, an increase of 64 from Wednesday. The county now has a reported total number of COVID-19 cases of 20,918.
The county reported 20,065 cases removed from isolation, an increase of 66 from Wednesday.
Boone County ranks seventh in the state with the most coronavirus cases per capita in the past week. Cases are down 20.8% on the week. The county has a 13.5% positive test rate, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
The positivity rate is up for the previous week of July 16 through Thursday to 40.3.
The health department's hospital status remains in yellow, with 89 COVID-19 patients in Boone County hospitals and 32 of them being Boone County residents. Of those, 32 are in intensive care and 12 are on ventilators.
The Missouri coronavirus vaccine dashboard is reporting that 95,837 residents have received their first dose in Boone County and 84,510 Boone County residents have completed their vaccine doses. Boone County has the largest percentage of county residents in Mid-Missouri that have received at least one dose of the vaccine with 53.1%. The second closest county in the state is St. Louis County with 51.7%.
Boone County is first in the state with a reported 46.8% of residents that have completed their coronavirus vaccine doses. St. Louis County is second in the state with 45.3% of residents have completed the doses for vaccination.
Cole County has the second-highest first vaccination rate in Mid-Missouri with 44.5%. Montgomery County is third with 39.6%.
Cole County ranks 8th in the state for most coronavirus cases per capita in the past week
The Cole County Health Department reported 92 new coronavirus cases.
According to the dashboard update, there have been 9,161 resident cases and 273 long-term care facility resident cases. That brings a total of 9,434 total cases in the county.
According to the health department, 18 of the cases reported were breakthrough infections.
The county has reported 126 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic started.
Cole County ranks eighth in the state for counties with the most coronavirus cases per capita in the past week. Cases are up 2.4% on the week. The county has an 18.2% positive test rate, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
The Missouri coronavirus vaccine dashboard reports about 38.9% of the county's population has been fully vaccinated.
Ravages of COVID surge evident inside Missouri hospital
OSAGE BEACH, Mo. (AP)
A Missouri hospital that had no people hospitalized with COVID-19 just two months ago is now dealing with an onslaught of patients.
Among them is Daryl Barker, who was passionately against a COVID-19 vaccination.
He and several relatives got sick, and Barker ended up in an intensive care unit fighting for his life.
The 31-year-old is at Lake Regional Hospital in Osage Beach, where 22 people died from the virus in the first 23 days of July.
Barker said his conservative politics made him “strongly against the vaccine.”
He and his wife both plan to get vaccinated once he recovers.
Boone County orders masks inside county buildings
People doing business in the Boone County Government Center and Annex will have to wear masks starting immediately.
The Boone County Commission issued the order requiring everyone 10 years old and older in those county buildings to wear masks in public areas Thursday. Government departments in those buildings will have discretion over rules for their offices, per the order.
The order will remain in effect until it is rescinded.
The order comes amid a surge in cases across Missouri and in Mid-Missouri. Active cases in Boone County are close to 700 and the county health department has reported more than 300 new cases this week.
MU Health to open coronavirus testing site
University of Missouri Health Care will open a dedicated coronavirus testing site Monday as Boone County and Mid-Missouri continue to see a surge in new cases.
The testing site will be located at 2003 W. Broadway, Suite 100, in Columbia, MU Health said in a news release. Testing should be scheduled online at muhccovidtesting.timetap.com. Appointments will be available from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Masks will be required at the testing site. Patients should bring proof of insurance if they're insured but testing is free.
MU Health says it will give patients results within 48 hours. Those who test positive will get a phone call. Those who test negative will have to access the MU Health online patient portal for results.
The testing site news comes a day after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said even vaccinated people should be tested if they're exposed to someone with the virus, even if they don't have symptoms.
The Columbia/Boone County Health Department has reported more than 300 new cases this week alone and the county had nearly 700 active cases as of Wednesday. The daily average of new cases remains at levels not seen since the winter and 90 patients are being treated for COVID-19 in Boone County hospitals. Hospitals have delayed some transfers and procedures because of the number of COVID-19 patients being treated.
University of Missouri to require masks in classrooms as coronavirus surges
The University of Missouri said Thursday that it will return to requiring students and employees to wear masks inside classrooms and indoors when social distancing isn't possible.
"Missouri is working to combat a rise in cases primarily caused by the Delta variant, with most of the cases occurring in unvaccinated individuals," MU said in an email to the campus. "While faculty, staff and student cases remain very low at Mizzou, we will take additional precautions."
The requirement will be reviewed Sept. 15.
The new rules require unvaccinated people to wear masks indoors at all times. The masking requirements take effect Monday.
MU is also encouraging workers and students to upload documents showing they've been vaccinated and is giving away incentives to those who are vaccinated. The university will also host several vaccination events. Drawings will start in mid-August with prizes including tuition discounts for students, dinner with head coaches or free parking for a year.
The campus has 21 active student cases and 14 active cases among faculty and staff. Fall classes start Aug. 23.
The move comes as Missouri continues to rank among the top states in the country for most coronavirus cases per capita. That surge is evident in Mid-Missouri, too. In Boone County, new cases have reached levels not seen since the winter.
More than 2,200 COVID-19 cases reported in Missouri
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported 2,262 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, bringing the total to 564,201 throughout the pandemic.
The state also reported 720 new probable antigen cases, bringing the total to 108,385.
Data shows four new COVID-19 related deaths were reported Thursday. The total number of deaths now sits at 9,642.
The state's positivity rate is back up to 14.7% after dropping slightly Wednesday.