coronavirus in Missouri | KBIA

coronavirus in Missouri

Coronavirus Cases Pass 10,000, Deaths Top 500 in Missouri

May 13, 2020
Doctor's office supplies on desk.
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Both the number of confirmed cases and deaths from the coronavirus in Missouri reached somber milestones Tuesday: Cases topped 10,000 and the number of deaths exceeded 500. 

The state health department reported 88 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 10,006. Thirty-six new deaths were reported. Since March, 524 people in Missouri have died from the virus.

Missouri's Capitol Building in 2017.
Meiying Wu / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers are trying to spare colleges and universities from budget cuts despite plummeting revenues. 

House and Senate negotiators on Thursday agreed to avoid state funding cuts to community colleges. Four-year schools will also get stable funding, but only if the state gets more federal aid.

The agreement came the same day state Budget Director Dan Haug announced net revenue collections dropped more than 54% in April compared to the same time last year. So far this year overall revenues decreased more than 6%.

Over 50,000 Missourians Filed for Unemployment Last Week

May 8, 2020
Missouri's Capitol Building in 2017.
Meiying Wu / KBIA

State labor officials say more than 50,000 Missourians filed new claims for unemployment benefits last week. While still a high number, it marked the third straight week of declines in claims. 

More than 495,000 people have filed new unemployment claims since March 21.

St. Joseph officials say an employee of a Missouri pork plant where hundreds of workers tested positive for the coronavirus has died from the virus. The city said the man, who worked at Triumph Foods in St. Joseph, had underlying health conditions.

Missouri's Capitol Building in 2017.
Meiying Wu / KBIA

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson is urging state residents to support businesses that are slowly reopening. 

The governor said Tuesday that Missourians should continue to practice social distancing and safe habits but noted Missouri-based, smaller businesses in particular need customers' support.

His stay-at-home order ended Monday.

Missouri Senate Tries to Spare Colleges From Budget Cuts

May 6, 2020
Missouri's Capitol Building in 2017.
Meiying Wu / KBIA

Missouri senators are trying to save colleges and universities from budget cuts after the coronavirus paralyzed the state's economy. 

Senators on Tuesday voted against a 10% cut in state funding to public colleges and universities. The House proposed the cut to balance next year's budget, which begins July 1.

Senators are hoping that Congress will send Missouri more federal aid so the state can avoid those cuts to higher education.

New Restrictions Planned as Missouri State Offices Reopen

May 4, 2020
Missouri's Capitol Building in 2017.
Meiying Wu / KBIA

Missouri residents and state employees will find some new restrictions before they can enter state office buildings after Gov. Mike Parson's stay-at-home order ends Monday. 

The Missouri Office of Administration says different state agencies will determine which offices will be open. Services that will be open include motor vehicles and driver licenses, Bureau of Vital Records, motor vehicle inspections and driver’s tests.

Businesses Shuttered by Virus Begin Reopening in Missouri

May 4, 2020

Business began reopening Monday in Missouri, although some cities hit hard by the coronavirus are keeping restrictions in place a little longer.

In lifting the statewide stay-at-home order, Gov. Mike Parson placed no limit on the size of social gatherings if people maintain the current 6-foot (1.83 meters) social distancing efforts. But some businesses — such as retail stores — will be required to take extra steps, such as limiting occupancy.

MU Health Care's main campus, near Stadium Blvd. in downtown Columbia.
Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

Gov. Mike Parson says coronavirus hospitalizations across Missouri are down significantly since peaking in early April, a key parameter in allowing the state to reopen. 

The Republican governor has outlined several metrics that he considers important in his decision to allow businesses and organizations to reopen starting Monday.

He said Tuesday that an important part of the data is the number of hospitalizations for COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus.

Some Missouri Businesses Reopen with COVID-19 Precautions

Apr 27, 2020

Some businesses near St. Louis are reopening with some safety measures in place, after local officials lifted restrictions meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the relaxation of the Franklin County order allowed golf courses, movie theaters, concert halls, gyms, fitness studios, tanning salons, bowling alleys and skating rinks to reopen Saturday as long as they adhere to social-distancing guidelines.

State in Multimillion Dollar Dispute Over Faulty Masks

Apr 20, 2020

A potential legal battle is brewing over more than $8 million the state spent on masks it purchased for COVID-19 protection that are believed to be faulty.

Earlier this week, the state recalled 48,000 KN95 masks because they failed to meet standards.

Missouri Department of Public Safety (DPS) Director Sandy Karsten said the state ordered and purchased masks from three vendors but that she would not release the names of those vendors. Karsten said she is limited in what details she can provide because of potential litigation. 

Missouri Coronavirus Deaths Rise to 198, 5,991 Infected

Apr 20, 2020
Doctor's office supplies on desk.
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The coronavirus outbreak has now claimed nearly 200 lives in Missouri and sickened thousands more. 

COVID-19-related deaths in Missouri rose to 198, up 13 from Saturday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering, which has been tracking cases worldwide.

The data also showed the number of confirmed cases in the state increased to 5,991, up 219.

The deaths include 11 residents of Frontier Health and Rehabilitation in St. Charles County. Another roughly 60 Frontier residents and a dozen employees have tested positive.

Some Workers Set to Get Unemployment Benefits This Week

Apr 13, 2020

The Missouri Department of Labor announced some people who applied for unemployment will receive their $600 federal pandemic unemployment payment this week.

The $600 is a federal supplement to unemployment benefits from the state for the next four months. It's a part of the CARES Act, which was a federal stimulus package intended to provide economic relief during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Missouri’s health department is reporting 136 more confirmed cases of coronavirus. 

The Sunday update brings the state’s total number of reported cases to 4,160. The Department of Health and Senior Services reports 110 people have died from the virus in Missouri so far, up one from Saturday.

The uptick comes as places of worship grapple with how to handle services on Easter Sunday while following social distancing guidelines.

Gov. Parson Signs Spending Bill to Fight Pandemic

Apr 13, 2020
Missouri's Capitol Building in 2017.
Meiying Wu / KBIA

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson has signed a supplemental budget bill allocating nearly $6 billion in federal stimulus money to fight the health and economic ramifications of the coronavirus pandemic.


Doctor's office supplies on desk.
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Older people have been far more likely to die worldwide from the coronavirus, and statistics from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services show that Missouri is no exception. 

The health department cites 53 fatalities from the illness caused by the coronavirus. The toll rose by 14 Tuesday.

The department also cited 3,037 confirmed cases, up 315, or 11.6%, from Monday.

Twenty of the 53 Missouri residents who have died were age 80 or older, and 17 were in their 70s.

Missouri First Responders Affected by COVID-19 Will Receive Compensation

Apr 8, 2020
Columbia Police Department vehicle.
Meiying Wu / KBIA

A first responder’s job is not easy, and with the COVID-19 outbreak their jobs have gotten harder and more dangerous. Across Missouri, police officers, firefighters and EMTs have contracted COVID-19.

Gov. Mike Parson and Annie Hui, the director of the Missouri Department of Labor and Industrial Relations, announced an emergency rule Tuesday that allows any first responder to receive workers’ compensation if they are quarantined or contract COVID-19.

Missouri Coronavirus Deaths Rise Over 30

Apr 6, 2020
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Missouri reported 10 more COVID-19 deaths on Sunday, although a national database has recorded even more deaths in the state. 

State health officials said 34 people had died from the disease, up from 24 reported on Saturday. A database operated by Johns Hopkins University was reporting 44 deaths in Missouri on Sunday.

State officials said Missouri's official count lagged behind because the state was not requring that deaths be reported within 24 hours. That procedure was scheduled to change starting Sunday.

Doctor's office supplies on desk.
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Missouri is asking medical professionals who are not working to join a specialized state team that responds to critical health emergencies. 

Selected medical workers would become part of the Missouri Disaster Medical Assistance Team.

The state is asking health care students, retired health care workers or those whose professional registration recently expired to apply online for the team.

Individuals are needed with background in medicine, nursing, allied health, dentistry, biomedicine, laboratory science, logistics and communications.

State Responds to Rising Unemployment Due to COVID-19

Apr 3, 2020
Missouri's Capitol Building in 2017.
Meiying Wu / KBIA

With unemployment claims rising rapidly amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Missouri Department of Labor is taking steps to aid both those out of work and impacted businesses.

For workers, the state agency is in the process of waiving the week of waiting requirement before filing for all unemployment claims filed as a result of the coronavirus, according to its website.

Gov. Parson Cuts Spending As Virus Hits Economy

Apr 3, 2020
Missouri's Capitol Building in 2017.
Meiying Wu / KBIA

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson says he's expecting a $500 million revenue shortfall this year because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Parson on Wednesday cut roughly $175 million in state government spending to help bridge the gap.

Many of those cuts are to spending for public colleges and universities. Parson blocked more than $61 million from going to public four-year colleges and another $11 million intended for community colleges.

Doctor's office supplies on desk.
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The Missouri National Guard is scouting locations for alternate care sites across the state if they will be needed because of the coronavirus, Governor Mike Parson said in his daily press briefing on Tuesday. 

The Guard is working with several other state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, to identify these potential sites. 

Democratic Leader Dies As Missouri COVID-19 Cases Top 900

Mar 30, 2020
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A Democratic Party leader in western Missouri has died after contracting COVID-19. 

The death of Willam “Al” Grimes, the Henry County Democratic Party chairman, was announced Sunday in a tweet from state Chairwoman Jean Peters Baker. 

The number of coronavirus-related deaths in the state has risen to 12 and the total confirmed cases has now exceeded 900, but health officials were hoping that a brief slowdown in its spread would continue Monday.

President Donald Trump speaks at a 2018 rally at the Columbia Regional Airport.
Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

President Donald Trump has approved Missouri's request for a federal disaster declaration in response to the coronavirus outbreak. 

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson's office announced Thursday that Trump had approved the declaration, which will help the state, local governments and nonprofits recover expenses related to the outbreak.

Parson's request for federal assistance for crisis counseling, unemployment assistance and disposal for hazardous waste related to the outbreak are pending.

Parson requested the federal disaster declaration on Tuesday.

Doctor's office supplies on desk.
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Two more people in Boone County have tested positive for COVID-19, the city of Columbia reported in a Thursday evening news release.

The two new positive cases involved people in their 60s and 70s. Both are related to out-of-state contact with another person who had tested positive.

This brings the total number of positive cases discovered in Boone County to three. The first person diagnosed, who was in their 60s, died Wednesday.

UM Campuses to Shut Down Through April 12

Mar 20, 2020
Jesse Hall and MU columns.
Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

Starting Monday, all four campuses in the University of Missouri System are closing. No one will physically work on campus unless directed otherwise, UM System President Mun Choi said in a systemwide email Thursday afternoon.

The shutdown will continue through April 12 and is meant to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

Randall Williams, Mayor Brian Treece and Governor Mike Parson stand together.
Sebastián Martínez Valdivia / KBIA

 

Just hours before announcing the first confirmed COVID-19 case in Boone County, Columbia Mayor Brian Treece hosted Missouri Governor Mike Parson at Columbia City Hall to discuss the local and state response to the ongoing pandemic. 

Parson and Treece, along with Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services Director Randall Williams, heads of area hospitals and emergency response personnel talked testing and economic relief, among other things.

First Positive COVID-19 Cases Confirmed in Mid-Missouri

Mar 18, 2020
Columbia City Hall
Meiying Wu / KBIA

Two people, one in Boone County and one in Cole County, have tested positive for COVID-19, making them the first confirmed cases of the virus in mid-Missouri, according to the Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services.

The individual who tested positive in Boone County is in their 60s and is currently self-isolating at home, according to MU Health Care, where the patient has been treated. The case — one of 16 known in Missouri as of Tuesday night — is related to travel from another country.

Missouri Lab Says It Has Developed Test for Coronavirus

Mar 18, 2020
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A clinical lab in Missouri says it has developed a test for the novel coronavirus that is more than 99% accurate. 

KCUR reports that Viracor Eurofins in Lee's Summit claims it is capable of performing more than 1,000 tests per day and returning results the same day.

Officials say the test would allow for expanding testing to patients who don't currently meet the eligibility criteria for public laboratory testing established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Missouri's Capitol Building in 2017.
Meiying Wu / KBIA

Missouri lawmakers are advancing a bill to allow state and local governments to limit access to public meetings in response to the coronavirus. A House committee passed the bill Monday. 

It comes after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that gatherings of 50 people or more be canceled or postponed across the country for the next eight weeks. The vast majority of people recover from the coronavirus in a matter of weeks.

The Missouri bill would require public agencies to livestream or record meetings and accept written public comments in advance.

House Approves COVID-19 Funding for Local Health Agencies, Other Needs

Mar 16, 2020
Missouri's Capitol Building in 2017.
Meiying Wu / KBIA

Dedicating additional funds to fighting the COVID-19 pandemic was a priority of a rare Sunday meeting of the House Budget Committee.

Lawmakers met well into the evening but started their session by approving a recommendation from the governor's office that would allow the spending of approximately $13 million on the state's coronavirus response, money that State Budget Director Dan Haug said the state is expecting from the federal government.

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