Missouri COVID-19 | KBIA

Missouri COVID-19

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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

1 hour ago
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.

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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.

KBIA's Rebecca Smith's cat, Pip, sleeps on his windowsill bed while keeping her company in her home office.
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

When my cat, Pip, started sniffling and sneezing a few weeks ago, I didn’t give it much thought. But as the sneezing continued, I started to get worried – both about Pip, of course, and about how I was going to safely get him to the veterinarian during Columbia’s stay-at-home order.

So, I called my vet and found out they had changed the way appointments were handled. Instead of going into the office with my cat, I would call when I was parked outside, hand Pip over in a carrier from my car, and then talk to the vet over the phone about a treatment plan.

A drive-up, hands-off vet clinic.


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.

Missouri Officials Discuss Handling COVID-19 Within State Prisons

Apr 1, 2020
Missouri's Capitol Building in 2017.
Meiying Wu / KBIA

 

Gov. Mike Parson and Missouri Department of Corrections Director Anne Precythe discussed how Missouri is handling COVID-19 within state prisons during a Tuesday briefing.

Precythe said prisons have been preparing since March and have taken precautions like suspending offender visitation, stopping prison transfers and screening all offenders from county jails upon arrival. Precythe also said strict sanitation has been put in place and the Department of Corrections is in the process of ensuring all facilities have adequate cleaning supplies

Some State Parks to Close During COVID-19 Outbreak

Apr 1, 2020
Missouri's Capitol Building in 2017.
Meiying Wu / KBIA

 

Five state parks in Missouri will be closed or partially closed by Thursday.

Carol Comer, director of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, announced the temporary closings at Gov. Mike Parson’s Tuesday briefing.

“While safety, stewardship and service are all very important in Missouri State Parks, safety is our first priority,” Comer said.

Four parks will be completely closed, one park will be partially closed and all parks will be required to follow new guidelines.

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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.

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The number of positive coronavirus cases in Missouri grew to more than 250, with eight deaths, and state officials are attributing some of the increase to more testing. 

The state health department reported 255 cases as of Tuesday, up from 183 on Monday.

The deaths include three women who lived at an assisted-living center in Springfield, with a fourth woman who lives there hospitalized.

Several health care centers and systems are operating mobile testing sites. The state now lists 28 places offering testing.

Rebecca Smith / KBIA

By now, most people will know that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider older individuals "at higher risk" for serious complications of COVID-19, but there are several other groups that also have higher risk – and are maybe not as obvious to the naked eye. 


Missouri Department of Elementary & Secondary Education

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, also known as DESE, has made the decision to close all Missouri Schools for the Severely Disabled. The closure begins on Wednesday, March 18.

Randall Williams, Mayor Brian Treece and Governor Mike Parson stand together.
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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.

Dr. Christelle Ilboudo, the Medical Director of Infection Control and Prevention for MU Healthcare, left, Dr. Ashley Millham, the Medical Director for Columbia/Boone County Public Health & Human Services, middle and Lucio Bitoy talked COVID-19 prep in MO
Rebecca Smith / KBIA

“The ultimate goal is to slow down the spread and decrease the transmission.”

KBIA’s Rebecca Smith sat down with Dr. Christelle Ilboudo, the Medical Director of Infection Contol and Prevention for MU Health Care, and two individuals from Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services – Medical Director Dr. Ashley Millham and Public Inforamtion Officer Lucio Bitoy – to discuss some of the preparations that are underway to prevent, and if necessary, manage the spread of COVID-19 in Mid-Missouri.

There have been six confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Missouri: two in St. Louis County, three in Greene County, and one in Henry County. 


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.

Officials Announce 5th COVID-19 Case in Missouri

Mar 16, 2020
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Missouri officials confirmed late Saturday that a fifth person has tested positive for coronavirus in the state.

The Department of Health and Senior Services said the latest case involves a patient in Greene County and is travel-related. Officials are working is anyone who'd come in close contact with the patient was exposed to the disease.

The announcement came hours after state officials released new details about the fourth COVID-19 case in Missouri.

Missouri Has Second Coronavirus Case As Cancellations Grow

Mar 13, 2020
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Missouri officials say the state has a second case of the novel coronavirus. 

Gov. Mike Parson announced that the patient is in the early 20s and had recently traveled to Austria.

The patient submitted to a test on Thursday and was found to be positive for COVID-19. 

Parson said the patient is quarantined at home and is expected to recover. He said cases of patients with the virus are travel-related.

St. Louis meanwhile has joined Kansas City in banning all public events with more than 1,000 people in response to the coronavirus.

Assisted Living Centers Wrestle With COVID-19

Mar 13, 2020

Assisted living centers around Columbia have begun taking steps to ensure the safety of some of the city’s most vulnerable residents as the COVID-19 response escalates rapidly nationwide.

A number of homes in Columbia are stopping or limiting visitation, enhancing health screening of staff and guests and taking other steps to deal with COVID-19, which is particularly deadly to older populations.

The Bluffs is only allowing caregivers to have access to residents, said Donna Bowers, executive director of the facility.

Missouri Lawmakers Discuss Plans to Handle Coronavirus

Mar 11, 2020
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State senators and House representatives met in a joint committee to discuss Missouri’s preparedness for the probable spread of coronavirus on Tuesday.

Randall Williams, the director of the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, said the state is well-prepared and has plenty of resources in the case of an outbreak. The state has the ability to test up to 1,000 patients and has only used about 40. Only one test has been classified as a “presumptive positive,” in St. Louis County.

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Missouri health officials are keeping tabs on several dozen people who may have been exposed to the coronavirus or traveled to places that put them at risk of exposure. 

But so far, no one in Missouri has tested positive for the virus that causes COVID-19.

State health officials sent several potential cases to the federal Centers for Disease Control for testing.

On Thursday, the state health department said it received federal approval to run such tests its own health lab, which should speed up the results.