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COVID-19 hospitalizations see increase at Joplin hospitals

Joplin’s COVID-19 hospitalization numbers saw an increase this past week at Joplin hospitals, comprising of Freeman, Mercy, and Landmark. As of Tuesday, April 6, there is a 17-hospitalization occupancy of COVID-19 patients in Joplin’s hospitals. This is two more than the occupancy number from last week on Tuesday, March 30

This number reflects the number of patients currently being treated with COVID-19 at the three previously mentioned hospitals. The 17-hospital occupancy includes residents outside Joplin city limits. As of April 6, there are six Joplin residents hospitalized due to COVID-19. This is one more than the number from Tuesday, March 30.   

According to the Joplin COVID-19 Dashboard, last updated Tuesday, April 6 at 10 p.m., there have been a total of 5,986 cases of the Coronavirus in the city. Joplin has 20 active cases, a decrease of three from 23 cases two weeks ago. There are 5,836 inactive cases in the city and 130 deaths, which is one additional death since a week ago. There have been eight new cases of COVID-19 in the last day, 25 cases in the last seven days, and 47 cases in the last 14 days. 

The dashboard’s graph shows the low number of cases in Joplin is staying fairly consistent from over the couple months, as compared to months previous to mid-February. Residents in the age group 20 to 29 continue to have the highest number of Coronavirus cases in Joplin, with 1,276 cases—seven more cases than last week. Those in the age group 30 to 39 are second highest, with 876 cases—one more than last week. And those under 20 are close behind, with 844 cases—four more than last week. 

The city is still in Phase 2—Step 4 of the Joplin Plan for Response and Recovery. Joplin opened vaccine eligibility to Phase 1B—Tier 3 of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution mid-March. This means those within this tier are eligible for their vaccine. This includes those deemed “Critical Infrastructure,” such as individuals in education, childcare, the communications sector, government, and various other sectors. 

The city has also opened vaccine eligibility to Phase 2, which includes those deemed “Equity and Response Recovery.” This includes individuals in libraries, the chemical sector, food and agriculture sector, construction sector, higher education, and several other sectors. Phase 3, which encompasses the remainder of the population, opens for vaccine eligibility April 9.  

In regard to vaccine clinics, the city is continuing to offer clinics to its residents. Check the City of Joplin’s website for information on future vaccine clinics.  

For more information regarding Missouri’s vaccination plan, visit their COVID-19 website, which also provides a map of current and future vaccinators within the state. 

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COVID-19 hospitalizations see small rise in numbers

Joplin’s COVID-19 hospitalization numbers fluctuated, a rise at Joplin hospitals, comprising of Freeman, Mercy, and Landmark. As of Tuesday, March 30, there is a 15-hospitalization occupancy of COVID-19 patients in Joplin’s hospitals. This is two more than the occupancy number from two weeks ago on Tuesday, March 16.  

This number reflects the number of patients currently being treated with COVID-19 at the three previously mentioned hospitals. The 15-hospital occupancy includes residents outside Joplin city limits. As of March 30, there are five Joplin residents hospitalized due to COVID-19. This is three more than the number from Tuesday, March 16

According to the Joplin COVID-19 Dashboard, last updated Tuesday, March 30 at 10 p.m., there have been a total of 5,961 cases of the Coronavirus in the city. Joplin has 23 active cases, a decrease of eight from 31 cases two weeks ago. There are 5,809 inactive cases in the city and 129 deaths, which is two additional deaths since two weeks ago. There have been 10 new cases of COVID-19 in the last day, 22 cases in the last seven days, and 47 cases in the last 14 days.  

The dashboard’s graph shows the low number of cases in Joplin is staying fairly consistent from over the past month, as compared to months previous to mid-February. Residents in the age group 20 to 29 continue to have the highest number of Coronavirus cases in Joplin, with 1,269 cases—11 more cases than last week. Those in the age group 30 to 39 are second-highest, with 875 cases—seven more than last week. And those under 20 are close behind, with 840 cases—five more than last week

The city is still in Phase 2—Step 4 of the Joplin Plan for Response and Recovery. Joplin opened vaccine eligibility to Phase 1B—Tier 3 of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution mid-March. This means those within this tier are eligible for their vaccine. This includes those deemed “Critical Infrastructure,” such as individuals in education, childcare, the communications sector, government, and various other sectors.  

The city has also opened vaccine eligibility to Phase 2, which includes those deemed “Equity and Response Recovery.” This includes individuals in libraries, the chemical sector, food and agriculture sector, construction sector, higher education, and several other sectors. Phase 3, which encompasses the remainder of the population, opens for vaccine eligibility April 9. 

In regard to vaccine clinics, the city is continuing to offer clinics to its residents. Check the City of Joplin’s website for information on future vaccine clinics. 

For more information regarding Missouri’s vaccination plan, visit their COVID-19 website, which also provides a map of current and future vaccinators within the state. 

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Phase 5: All Kansas residents 16 and older can now receive the COVID-19 vaccine

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Kansas and Missouri are opening the vaccine to more people this week. Kansans who are 16 and older will be eligible to get the vaccine. 

Governor Laura Kelly announced the final step of the state’s vaccine plan, Phase 5, would begin on March 29. The phase allows anyone who has not yet been vaccinated and is at least 16-years-old to get the shot.

On top of that, people who live in Wyandotte county can get vaccinated with or without an appointment. 

The Unified Government Public Health Department operates three vaccination clinics, and residents can either walk-in or make an appointment starting Monday.

  • East Location: The Armory, 100 S. 20th St, KCK
  • Central Location: Former Kmart, 7836 State Ave, KCK
  • West Location: Former Best Buy, 10500 Parallel Pkwy, KCK

The clinics run Mon.-Fri., 9a.m.-2:30p.m.

“I haven’t gotten it,” Luis Sanchez said. “We plan to get it, yes, definitely.”

Sanchez and his 16-year-old plan to get vaccinated this week. He wanted to wait to take the whole family to get their shots. 

It’s time, now that Kansas opened eligibility to people 16 and older starting Monday, March 29th.

“Yes, I think it’s very important,” Mckenzie Sanchez, 16, said. “I think I will get it done.”

“It will make it a lot easier, too,” Sanchez said. “It all depends on schedules for people, you know, for families, if their parents are working or not.”

Residents will need to show proof of residency and minors will need to be accompanied by a parent or guardian. Minors must also be able to verify their age.

“It feels like I’m doing my part. It feels like I’m protecting myself from something that could potentially harm me and of course anyone else in my family that want to get it done and if they don’t that’s perfectly fine,” Mckenzie said.

Mckenzie admits she’s a little nervous to get the shot but wants to do it in honor of her grandfather.

The 83-year-old died due to COVID-19 last year. 

“It was kind of rough with all that. So, I’m glad that more people are getting the opportunity to be safe from it,” Mckenzie said.

In Missouri on Monday, Gov. Mike Parson activates “Phase 2” of the state’s vaccination plan.

That includes people in the chemical sector, food and agriculture, higher education and the homeless. 

Phase 2: Equity & Economic Recovery – Accelerating equitable economic growth

  • Chemical Sector
  • Commercial Facilities Sector
  • Critical Manufacturing Sector
  • Defense Industrial Base Sector
  • Financial Services Sector
  • Food & Agriculture Sector 2
  • Government
  • Higher Education
  • Disproportionately Affected
  • Homeless

Then, Friday, April 9, all adults who live in Missouri will be eligible for the vaccine. 

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Joplin Health dept. offers vaccination clinic as Phase 2 opens for Missourians

JOPLIN, Mo. — The City of Joplin Health Department will offer an opportunity to receive the COVID vaccination on Tuesday, March 30Health Department staff will offer 200 first-dose Moderna vaccines from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. to those adults eligible according to Missouri’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan. These appointments will be on the campus of Missouri Southern State University. ALL individuals MUST have an appointment to receive a vaccine.

This clinic is open to individuals 18 years old and above who are in the Phase 1 category and the newly opened Phase 2 category.  Phase 2 includes adults who are in the following sectors:

  • Chemical Sector
  • Commercial Facilities Sector
  • Critical Manufacturing Sector
  • Defense Industrial Base Sector
  • Financial Services Sector
  • Food & Agriculture Sector 2
  • Government
  • Higher Education
  • Disproportionately Affected
  • Homeless

All Missourian adults become eligible on April 9. For details of the Priority Phases, visit the State’s website at https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/priority/.

To schedule an appointment for this indoor vaccine clinic, go to the scheduling tool found on the City’s website at www.joplinmo.org/coronavirus . For those without computer access, please call 417-623-4973.

This walk-up indoor vaccination clinic will be held on the Missouri Southern State University campus in the FEMA storm shelter. The address is 1012 N. International Avenue, Joplin, MO 64801.  Parking for the clinic will be in the parking lot to the west of the building and can be accessed by entering the Criminal Justice parking lot from Newman Road.

Once an individual schedules an appointment, they will receive a confirmation email with more details about their appointment.

“This clinic will be a good vaccine opportunity to those who are in this newly opened  Phase 2 category,” said Ryan Talken, Director of the Joplin Health Department. “If citizens do not get an appointment at this clinic,  we encourage them to keep watching for future clinics. We will host these as we receive vaccine supply. Citizens can also check with their pharmacy and other health providers for available vaccination opportunities.”

Because of the limited inventory, clinics may not be offered in a pattern, but when supply and resources are available. The City will announce the dates and hours through the local news media and City website. Citizens can sign up to receive City news releases to get notifications about future clinics by using the Notify Me feature of the City’s website at https://www.joplinmo.org/list.aspx . Select the News Flash option and then City News category. When entering their contact information, they can choose to receive a text or an email when a news release is posted on the City’s website.

Talken reminds the public that only those people who have an appointment for the clinic will receive the vaccine.  Individuals who come to Missouri Southern State University and do not have an appointment will be turned away.

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Freeman Vaccination Clinic Open to All Adults

Joplin, MO –Freeman Health System invites residents to pre-register for a vaccine clinic scheduled for 7:00 am – 6:00 pm Friday, April 9. That date marks the opening of eligibility for all Missouri adults 18 and older to receive the COVID-19 vaccination. 

Freeman received its first shipment of vaccine December 20 and has since given more than 15,600 doses to Freeman staff and the public. Freeman is scheduled to give 1,200 second doses this week and has the ability to give 1,400 first doses this week with a clinic on March 25. Appointment times are still available for the first-dose clinic Thursday. Appointments can also be made in advance for the April 9 clinic.

Those wanting a vaccination can call 417.502-SHOT to register for the vaccine or they can pre-register online at  freemanhealth.com/service/covid-19.  Pre-registration will prompt a return call from a Freeman employee to schedule a vaccination appointment.

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Missouri COVID update: Fewer than 200 cases added for second time this month

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri added fewer than 200 new COVID cases on Tuesday, just the second time that’s occurred since last June. The other most recent sub-200 day was March 1.

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the state has recorded 486,170 cumulative cases of SARS-CoV-2—an increase of 173 positive cases (PCR testing only)—and 8,374 total deaths as of Monday, March 22, no increase over yesterday. That’s a case-fatality rate of 1.72%.

Month Cumulative case-fatality rate
on the final day of the month
March 2020 1.06%
April 2020 4.35%
May 2020 4.71%
June 2020 4.71%
July 2020 2.52%
August 2020 1.81%
September 2020 1.68%
October 2020 1.65%
November 2020 1.28%
December 2020 1.41%
January 2021 1.47%
February 2021 1.66%
(Source: Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services)

Please keep in mind that not all cases and deaths recorded occurred in the last 24 hours.

The Bureau of Vital Records at DHSS performs a weekly linkage between deaths to the state and death certificates to improve quality and ensure all decedents that died of COVID-19 are reflected in the systems. As a result, the state’s death toll will see a sharp increase from time-to-time. Again, that does not mean the large number of deaths happened in one day; instead, it is a single-day reported increase.

At the state level, DHSS is not tracking probable or pending COVID deaths. Those numbers are not added to the state’s death count until confirmed in the disease surveillance system either by the county or through analysis of death certificates.

Sign up for a Missouri COVID-19 vaccine waiting list here 

The 10 days with the most reported cases occurred between Nov. 7, 2020 and Jan. 8, 2021.

The 7-day rolling average for cases in Missouri sits at 346; yesterday, it was 355. Exactly one month ago, the state rolling average was 527. 

Approximately 46.8% of all reported cases are for individuals 39 years of age and younger. The state has further broken down the age groups into smaller units. The 18 to 24 age group has 61,024 recorded cases, while 25 to 29-year-olds have 40,795 cases.

Missouri has administered 4,755,127 PCR tests for COVID-19 over the entirety of the pandemic and as of March 21, 82.7% of those tests have come back negative. People who have received multiple PCR tests are not counted twice, according to the state health department.

Month / Year Missouri COVID cases*
(reported that month)
March 2020 1,327
April 2020 6,235
May 2020 5,585
June 2020 8,404
July 2020 28,772
August 2020 34,374
September 2020 41,416
October 2020 57,073
November 2020 116,576
December 2020 92,808
January 2021 66,249
February 2021 19,405
March 2021 7,946
(Source: Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services)

According to the state health department’s COVID-19 Dashboard, “A PCR test looks for the viral RNA in the nose, throat, or other areas in the respiratory tract to determine if there is an active infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. A positive PCR test means that the person has an active COVID-19 infection.”

The Missouri COVID Dashboard no longer includes the deduplicated method of testing when compiling the 7-day moving average of positive tests. The state is now only using the non-deduplicated method, which is the CDC’s preferred method. That number is calculated using the number of tests taken over the period since many people take multiple tests. Under this way of tabulating things, Missouri has a 4.1% positivity rate as of March 19. Health officials exclude the most recent three days to ensure data accuracy when calculating the moving average.

As of March 19, Missouri is reporting 836 COVID hospitalizations and a rolling 7-day average of 861. The remaining inpatient hospital bed capacity sits at 24% statewide. The state’s public health care metrics lag behind by three days due to reporting delays, especially on weekends. Keep in mind that the state counts all beds available and not just beds that are staffed by medical personnel.

Across the state, 155 COVID patients are in ICU beds, leaving the state’s remaining intensive care capacity at 24%.

The 7-day rolling average for hospitalizations was over 1,000 from Sept. 16, 2020, to March 5, 2021. It was over 2,000 from Nov. 9, 2020, to Jan. 27, 2021.

Approximately 49.1% of all recorded deaths in the state are for patients 80 years of age and older.

If you have additional questions about the coronavirus, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is available at 877-435-8411.

As of March 22, the CDC identified 29,652,483 cases of COVID-19 and 539,517 deaths across all 50 states and 9 U.S.-affiliated districts, jurisdictions, and affiliated territories, for a national case-fatality rate of 1.82%.

How do COVID deaths compare to other illnesses, like the flu or even the H1N1 pandemics of 1918 and 2009? It’s a common question.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), preliminary data on the 2018-2019 influenza season in the United States shows an estimated 35,520,883 cases and 34,157 deaths; that would mean a case-fatality rate of 0.09 percent. Case-fatality rates on previous seasons are as follows: 0.136 percent (2017-2018), 0.131 percent (2016-2017), 0.096 percent (2015-2016), and 0.17 percent (2014-2015).

The 1918 H1N1 epidemic, commonly referred to as the “Spanish Flu,” is estimated to have infected 29.4 million Americans and claimed 675,000 lives as a result; a case-fatality rate of 2.3 percent. The Spanish Flu claimed greater numbers of young people than typically expected from other influenzas.

Beginning in January 2009, another H1N1 virus—known as the “swine flu”—spread around the globe and was first detected in the US in April of that year. The CDC identified an estimated 60.8 million cases and 12,469 deaths; a 0.021 percent case-fatality rate.

For more information and updates regarding COVID mandates, data, and the vaccine, click here.

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Missouri tax deadline postponed

MISSOURI — Missouri taxpayers now have extra time to figure out 2020 incomes taxes.

The state has moved its tax deadline to match the new federal date of May 17th.

That means you have an extra month not only to fill out and submit the forms, but the extra time to pay any money you owe.

Both federal and state authorities pointed to the challenges of dealing with the coronavirus pandemic as prompting the change in the deadline.

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Joplin’s COVID-19 hospitalizations continue improvement at slow decline

Joplin’s COVID-19 hospitalization numbers continue their slow decline, with numbers improving at Joplin hospitals, comprising of Freeman, Mercy, and Landmark. As of Tuesday, March 16, there is a 13-hospitalization occupancy of COVID-19 patients in Joplin’s hospitals. This is two less than the occupancy number from last week on Wednesday, March 10. 

This number reflects the number of patients currently being treated with COVID-19 at the three previously mentioned hospitals. The 13-hospital occupancy includes residents outside Joplin city limits. As of March 16, there are two Joplin residents hospitalized due to COVID-19. This is the same number from Wednesday, March 10

Additionally, Freeman Health System has closed their medical COVID-19 unit after their last four COVID-19 patients were discharged Monday, March 15. They will take March 17 and 18 to deep clean, and afterward the space will then be used for regular usage. 

According to the Joplin COVID-19 Dashboard, last updated Tuesday, March 16 at 10 p.m., there have been a total of 5,914 cases of the Coronavirus in the city. Joplin has 31 active cases, a decrease of one from last week’s 32 cases. There are 5,756 inactive cases in the city and 127 deaths, which is three additional deaths since last week. There have been five new cases of COVID-19 in the last day, 33 cases in the last seven days, and 65 cases in the last 14 days. 

The dashboard’s graph shows the low number of cases in Joplin is staying consistent from over the past month, as compared to months previous to mid-February. Residents in the age group 20 to 29 continue to have the highest number of Coronavirus cases in Joplin, with 1,258 cases—six more cases than last week. Those in the age group 30 to 39 are second-highest, with 868 cases—two more than last week. And those under 20 are close behind, with 835 cases—two more than last week. 

This update comes just over two weeks after the expiration of Joplin’s mask mandate, as the mandate expired Sunday, February 28. The city is still in Phase 2—Step 4 of the Joplin Plan for Response and Recovery. Additionally, the 250 outdoor mass gathering restriction has been lifted, along with capacity and social distancing requirements in businesses and restaurants. 

Joplin is now in Phase 1B—Tier 3 of the COVID-19 vaccine distribution. This means those within this tier are now eligible for their vaccine. This includes those deemed “Critical Infrastructure,” such as individuals in education, childcare, the communications sector, government, and various other sectors

In regard to vaccine clinics, the city is continuing to offer clinics to its residents. Qualifying individuals may register for a clinic scheduled for Wednesday, March 24, held at Missouri Southern University through the city’s website

For more information regarding Missouri’s vaccination plan, visit their COVID-19 website, which also provides a map of current and future vaccinators within the state. 

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Freeman Closing Medical COVID-19 Unit, Deep Cleaning to Follow

JOPLIN, Mo. — Freeman Health System is closing its medical COVID-19 unit after the last four patients were discharged Monday.

Freeman has seen significant patient volumes decrease to a level that they say can serve patients in one combined medical unit. This enables staff to use these hospital beds for other patients.

At the moment, Freeman has 3 patients with COVID in the hospital. Two are currently in the ICU at Freeman West, while one is the Neosho facility ICU.

Nurses working in the medical COVID-19 unit will be available to discuss the impact of the closure on duty scheduling, morale and more.

A deep cleaning of the facility will also begin Wednesday night (March 17th) and into Thursday. The area will then be available once again for regular use.