THURSDAY UPDATES: Boone County reports 63 new coronavirus cases; hospitalizations continue to rise
The Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services reported 63 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday.
There are currently 479 active cases in the county and 26,810 cases since the pandemic began. The county reported 26,151 cases removed from isolation.
Boone County ranks 12th in the state with the most coronavirus cases in total volume in the past week. Cases are down 2.3% when comparing last week to the prior week. The county has a 9.6% positivity test rate, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS).
The health department's hospital status is yellow with 79 COVID-19 patients in Boone County hospitals and 28 of them being Boone County residents. Of the 79 patients, 30 are in intensive care and 13 are on ventilators.
The Missouri coronavirus vaccine dashboard reports that 110,356 residents have received their first dose in Boone County and 96,714 Boone County residents have completed their vaccine doses.
Boone County has the third-largest percentage of county residents in Missouri that have received at least one dose of the vaccine with 61.2%. The largest county in the state is St. Louis County with 64.5%.
Boone County is third in the state with a reported 53.6% of residents that have completed their coronavirus vaccine doses. St. Louis County is the first county in the state with 56.3% of residents having completed the doses for vaccination. The city of Joplin has 58.7% of the population fully vaccinated.
Cole County has the second-highest first vaccination rate in Mid-Missouri with 52.4%. Callaway County is third with 48.2%.
The Columbia Public Schools reports active coronavirus and quarantine cases to their website daily.
The district reported a 33.7 14-day rate per 10,000 for Tuesday.
CPS reports 10 district facilities (six elementary schools, one middle school, one high school and two other district-wide facilities) currently have staff out because of COVID-19. Seven staff members at an elementary school, one staff member at a middle school, one staff member at a high school and two staff members at a district-wide facility have tested positive for COVID-19.
The district reports 32 district facilities to have students currently out due to the coronavirus. The district is reporting 19 of the elementary schools, all of the middle schools and high schools and two district-wide facilities are affected.
There are 37 students that have tested positive for COVID-19. The district is reporting 26 students in elementary, five students in middle school, five students in high school and one student at a district-wide facility have tested positive for the coronavirus.
There are 186 students who are required to quarantine due to the coronavirus. The district reports 125 elementary students are currently quarantining, 39 students in middle school, 12 students in high school and 11 students at district-wide facilities.
Cole County reports 12 new coronavirus cases
The Cole County Health Department reported 12 new coronavirus cases from Wednesday.
According to the dashboard update, there are 11,871 residential cases and 289 long-term care facility resident cases. That is 12,160 total cases in the county.
Cole County reports there are 168 coronavirus deaths since the pandemic began.
Cole County ranks 39th in the state for counties with the most coronavirus cases per 100,000 in the past week. Cases are down 6.6% when comparing last week to the prior week. The county has reported an 11.6% positivity test rate, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services .
The Missouri coronavirus vaccine dashboard reports about 52.4% of the county have initiated their first dose of the vaccine and 48% of the county's population have been fully vaccinated.
The Jefferson City School District reported two new coronavirus cases in the student population and one new case in a staff member from Wednesday.
The district is reporting four total active cases in students and one active case in staff.
The district is reporting 119 close contacts for students and nine close contacts for staff.
MU sets deadline for coronavirus vaccine proof, exemption
The University of Missouri has set a deadline for employees to prove they're vaccinated against the coronavirus or to submit documentation to get an exemption to the mandate.
MU leaders said in an email to campus Thursday that employees must submit their documents by Jan. 18. The University of Missouri Board of Curators approved a resolution last month allowing the UM System to comply with a federal executive order requiring vaccination for federal contractors. The system receives millions of federal dollars for research.
The mandate applies to anyone on campus whose job is funded with federal dollars or who works closely with someone whose job is federally funded. However, anyone who thinks they're exempt must request an exemption. Exemptions are also available for religious and medical reasons.
MU will hold online training sessions about submitting documentation on Dec. 13, according to the email. The email noted that the mandate is being challenged in court and MU's requirements could change.
MU Health Care employees are also under a blanket vaccine requirement separate from the federal contractor mandate.
Employees who don't follow the campus-wide vaccine requirement will be subject to counseling and possible discipline, including firing, MU says in the email.
It's not clear how many MU employees are vaccinated. As of Wednesday, the campus reported 23 active student coronavirus cases and 12 active cases in faculty and staff . More than 53% of Boone County residents are fully vaccinated, according to state health officials .
More than 3,000 COVID-19 cases added in Missouri
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services added 2,470 confirmed COVID-19 cases to the state dashboard Thursday morning, as well as 1,025 new antigen cases.
This brings the total number of confirmed cases in Missouri to 745,170 and the total number of antigen cases to 168, 739.
DHHS also added 8 new deaths to the dashboard, bringing that total to 12,610.
The positivity rate increased Thursday morning, now sitting at 12.2%.
According to DHHS, 63 people were hospitalized Thursday bringing the total number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients to 1,413.
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