FRIDAY UPDATES: Missouri DHSS reporting presumed positive omicron variant case in St. Louis resident

KMIZ ABC 17 News
KMIZ ABC 17 News

The Missouri Department of Health & Senior Services (DHSS) is reporting a St. Louis resident has a sample presumed positive for the Omicron variant.

“Although there is much we still need to learn about this new variant, we do know the best tool currently available to protect ourselves from COVID-19 is personal prevention. I urge Missourians to seek information on the Omicron variant from DHSS and trusted medical sources opposed to social media,” said Donald Kauerauf, DHSS Director, according to a release. “We also encourage Missourians to remain vigilant in protecting themselves and staying informed this holiday season as this new variant is investigated further.”

Officials report the sample was originally sequenced as part of commercial laboratory surveillance and results are currently awaiting confirmation by the CDC.

“The Delta variant is still the predominant variant present in Missouri, currently representing well over 99 percent of the cases. Citizens are urged to complete their vaccination series for COVID-19 and get their booster,” said Kauerauf.

State reports more than 4,000 confirmed coronavirus cases as daily average rises

The daily average of new coronavirus cases in Missouri has increased by more than a third over the past three days, according to state health department reporting.

That number stood at 1,117 on Tuesday. Friday, it increased to 1,493. The daily average looks at the last seven days and doesn't account for the past three days, which will push that number even higher.

The state logged 4,039 new coronavirus cases through PCR testing and another 1,336 probable cases identified in antigen testing Friday, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services coronavirus dashboard . Missouri has now reported 749,209 confirmed cases for the entire pandemic and more than 170,075 probable cases.

The state recorded six more confirmed deaths for a total of 12,610 and one new probable death for a total of 2,843.

Missouri's new cases are up nearly 20% over the past week, the state reports, as new cases surge nationwide. Health experts warn the worst might still be ahead as colder temperatures continue to push people inside.
Source: Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

The rate of positive tests was at 12.7% for the last week, an increase of nearly three percentage points.

Cole, Randolph and Audrain counties are all in the upper third of counties in new cases per capita over the last week, according to state statistics.

Nearly 2% of vaccinated Missourians have developed COVID-19 infections, the state reports.

Experts continue to tout vaccination as the best tool to fight the wave of new cases, but new vaccinations have effectively stalled in Missouri, with more boosters being given daily than first or second shots. The state reported Friday that 51.6% of Missouri residents are fully vaccinated .

COVID-19 hospitalizations are also trending upward, with the state reporting 18% of total hospital capacity and ICU capacity remaining. Those numbers are at 27% and 32% in Central Missouri, respectively.

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