THURSDAY UPDATES: Cole County reports third day in a row of over 300 new coronavirus cases due to backlog reporting

KMIZ ABC 17 News
KMIZ ABC 17 News

The Cole County Health Departmen t reported 374 new coronavirus cases Wednesday.

According to the dashboard update, there are 15,176 residential cases and 312 long-term care facility resident cases. That is 15,478 total cases in the county.

“Because of a reporting issue with a local healthcare system that resulted in a backlog of data, the Cole County Health Department anticipates receiving a large number of positive COVID-19 cases over the next few days from MO Department of Health and Senior Services.  The positive cases date back to the first part of December,” said Kristi Campbell, director of Cole County Health Department, on Tuesday.

Cole County has reported 175 coronavirus deaths since the pandemic began.
Cole County Health Department cases by day in January

Cole County ranks fifth in the state for counties with the most coronavirus cases per 100,000 in the past week. Cases are up 10.1% when comparing last week to the prior week. The county has reported a 38.6% positivity test rate, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services .

The Missouri coronavirus vaccine dashboard reports about 54.9% of the county have initiated their first dose of the vaccine and 50.5% of the county's population have been fully vaccinated.

The Jefferson City School District reported nine new coronavirus cases in students and four new coronavirus cases in staff members Wednesday.

The district is reporting 68 active cases in students and 28 active cases in staff.

The district is reporting 169 close contacts for students and 25 close contacts for staff.

State of Missouri nears one million confirmed COVID cases

The state of Missouri reported 16,599 new and probable coronavirus cases for Thursday.

The state of Missouri’s daily average of new coronavirus cases has gone back up to an 8,840 seven-day average (61,883 confirmed cases from the previous week of reporting) as the state reports new coronavirus cases across the state according to state health department reporting. 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 reported 12,333 new coronavirus cases through PCR testing and another 4,266 probable cases identified in antigen testing from Friday, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services coronavirus dashboard. Missouri has now reported 997,316 confirmed cases for the pandemic and more than 235,031 probable cases.

The state recorded 134 new deaths for 13,535 total and no new probable death was added for a total of 3,106.

Missouri's new cases are down 2.7 % over the past week, the state reports, as recent cases surge nationwide.

The rate of positive tests is 34.9% for the last week. A higher positivity suggests higher transmission and that there are likely more people with coronavirus in the community who haven’t been tested yet.
Source: Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

Boone (1), Callaway (2), Cole, (5), Pettis (6), Miller (8), Saline (14), Osage (16) and Maries (38) counties are all in the top 40 Missouri counties in cases per capita over the last week, according to state statistics.

The state reports that 5.74% (a .53% increase from last) of vaccinated Missourians have developed COVID-19 infections. The state reported 18,021 breakthrough infections. The state is reporting 193,190 breakthrough cases out of 3,363,310 fully vaccinated people. The state has reported 995 breakthrough deaths.

Experts continue to tout vaccination as the best tool to fight the wave of new cases.

Still, new vaccinations have effectively stalled in Missouri, with more boosters being given daily than first or second shots. The state reported Thursday that 54.8% of Missouri residents are fully vaccinated.

COVID-19 hospitalizations are also trending upward, with the state reporting 20% of total inpatient capacity and 18% of ICU capacity remaining. Those numbers are at 29% and 34% in Central Missouri, respectively. The state has reported a record number of hospitalizations with 3,704 patients. There are currently 698 patients in Missouri ICUs.

Boone County creates system for reporting at-home coronavirus tests

Boone County health officials unveiled a new system for reporting at-home coronavirus test results Thursday.

The reporting system is available online at this link and was created in response to more people testing themselves at home as case counts surge, the Columbia/Boone County Department of Health and Human Services said in a news release.

People without computer access can call 573-874-7634 to report their positive results and leave a voice mail with name, birthdate, race or ethnicity, address, phone number, email address and date of test, the department says.

"We appreciate the Boone County residents who have been proactive and already reached out to us to submit their positive at-home test results," Director Stephanie Browning said in the release. "This new system will make reporting the results easier for residents and it will give us a better idea of how many people in Boone County are testing positive using at-home tests."

Boone County leads the state in most new coronavirus cases per capita as the omicron-driven winter surge pushes on. New case totals have appeared to be dropping in the last few days but remain well above levels seen previously during the pandemic.

The county's hospitals remain strained with 167 COVID-19 patients and scores of infected staff members. Schools are also struggling with a rash of new infections, with some districts bringing back mask mandates , canceling classes or moving online because of staff shortages.

Information about isolation for positive cases and quarantine for close contacts can be found here: .

Residents can order free at-home COVID-19 tests from the federal government here: .

Local testing options can be found here: .

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