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Missouri records 1,987 new COVID cases; fifth straight day below 2,000

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – State health officials have recorded less than 2,000 new COVID for each of the last five days.

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the state has recorded 657,388 cumulative cases of SARS-CoV-2—an increase of 1,987 positive cases (PCR testing only)—and 11,028 total deaths as of Thursday, Sept. 16, an increase of 7 over yesterday. That’s a case fatality rate of 1.68%.

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

State health officials report 52.9% of the total population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. Approximately 64.1% of all adults 18 years of age and older have initiated the process.

The state has administered 72,690 doses of vaccine in the last 7 days (this metric is subject to a delay, meaning the last three days are not factored in). The highest vaccination rates are among people over 65.

Boone County, the city of Joplin, and St. Louis County are the only jurisdictions in the state with at least 50% of its population fully vaccinated. Thirteen other jurisdictions in the state are at least 40% fully vaccinated: St. Charles, Franklin, Atchison, Jackson, Cole, Gasconade, Greene, Shelby, Nodaway, and Montgomery counties, as well as Kansas City, Independence, and St. Louis City.

Vaccination is the safest way to achieve herd immunity. Herd immunity for COVID-19 requires 80% to 90% of the population to have immunity, either by vaccination or recovery from the virus.

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%
March 2021 1.74%
April 2021 1.74%
May 2021 1.77%
June 2021 1.77%
July 2021 1.70%
August 2021 1.68%
(Source: Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services)

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 a 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.

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

The 7-day rolling average for cases in Missouri sits at 1,800; yesterday, it was 1,745. Exactly one month ago, the state rolling average was 2,122. 

Approximately 49.2% 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 81,742 recorded cases, while 25 to 29-year-olds have 56,320 cases.

People 80 years of age and older account for approximately 44.2% of all recorded deaths in the state.

TOP STORY: Funeral procession for fallen Marine Jared Schmitz 

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 11,150
April 2021 12,165
May 2021 9,913
June 2021 12,680
July 2021 42,780
August 2021 60,275
September 2021 26,361
(Source: Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services)

Missouri has administered 6,828,380 PCR tests for COVID-19 over the entirety of the pandemic and as of Sept. 15, 16.9% of those tests have come back positive. People who have received multiple PCR tests are not counted twice, according to the state health department.

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 10.8% positivity rate as of Sept. 13. Health officials exclude the most recent three days to ensure data accuracy when calculating the moving average.

The 7-day positivity rate was 4.5% on June 1, 10.2% on July 1, and 15.0% on Aug. 1.

As of Sept. 13, Missouri is reporting 1,922 COVID hospitalizations and a rolling 7-day average of 1,996. The remaining inpatient hospital bed capacity sits at 21% 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.

On July 6, the 7-day rolling average for hospitalizations eclipsed the 1,000-person milestone for the first time in four months, with 1,013 patients. The 7-day average for hospitalizations had previously been over 1,000 from Sept. 16, 2020, to March 5, 2021.

On Aug. 5, the average eclipsed 2,000 patients for the first time in more than seven months. It was previously over 2,000 from Nov. 9, 2020, to Jan. 27, 2021.

The 2021 low point on the hospitalization average in Missouri was 655 on May 29.

Across the state, 507 COVID patients are in ICU beds, leaving the state’s remaining intensive care capacity at 18%.

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

As of Sept. 16, the CDC identified 41,593,179 cases of COVID-19 and 666,440 deaths across all 50 states and 9 U.S.-affiliated districts, jurisdictions, and affiliated territories, for a national case-fatality rate of 1.60%.

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 Governor Mike Parson to refute Biden's COVID-19 vaccine plans

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Missouri Governor Mike Parson is looking at his options to challenge President Biden’s plan to require COVID-19 vaccines or testing for many workers.

That includes the possibility of calling a special legislative session.

He’s also working with the state attorney general to see what can be done to prevent the Biden mandates from being implemented in Missouri.

The governor says Missouri will oppose the white house initiative on quote “multiple fronts.”

“And we’re just not going to be able to do that in Missouri and we’re not going to do that in Missouri nor should the President of the United States take the rights of parents away and say ‘I’m going to vaccinate your kids in school with those 12 and above.’ That’s not who we are and that’s not about freedom, and Missouri is just never going to stand for that,” said Gov. Mike Parson, Mo (R).

The president announced sweeping new requirements Thursday that mandate immunizations or weekly testing at employers with more than 100 workers.

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Freeman asks public to practice pandemic safety in briefing on pandemic issues

JOPLIN, Mo. — Health officials are asking for community assistance as the four states approaches Flu season.

In a press briefing on Wednesday, Freeman Health System advised the public to get their Flu and COVID-19 vaccinations to help lessen the current strain on the medical system.

Currently more than 90 percent of COVID cases at freeman concern the Delta variant

Officials say Flu cases were significantly down in 20-20 from previous year. Doctors say this is likely due to masking and social distancing protocols that were in place.

“I would really like to see the numbers stay low this year, we already have enough patients in ICU who already have a lot of pulmonary distress so if we could avoid that I feel that would be fantastic,” said Dr. Robert McNab, Freeman Health System DO.

“We’re hovering right around 40 with a couple of patients on a ventilator. We are continuing to test a lot of patients and have about a 20 percent positivity rate,” said Paula Baker, Freeman Health System President and CEO.

Officials at Freeman say the best line of defense against the Flu and COVID-19 is vaccination, hand hygiene, masking and social distancing.

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Labette Health launches "Get Vaxxed With Us" incentive campaign

PARSONS, Kans. — Labette Health has started offering incentives to help increase it’s COVID-19 vaccination rates.

The organization will be offering fifty dollar gift cards to those receiving their vaccines from any Labette Health facility.

This will only be for the first and second vaccinations and will not be for any booster shots.

There will also be two drawings for five hundred and one thousand dollars a month out of those who are fully vaccinated in southeast Kansas.

Names will roll over into the next month after the drawings take place. Sign ups for the drawings can be found on Labette Health’s website.

We have a link here.

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Oklahoma hospitals respond after doctor says Ivermectin overdoses "backing up" emergency rooms

SALLISAW, Okla. (KNWA/KFTA) — The controversial antiparasitic drug Ivermectin remains at the center of national discussion as individuals and doctors attempt to use it in its various forms as an alternative treatment for COVID-19. An Oklahoma hospital refuted a public statement by a local doctor who claimed patients experiencing complications from the drug are filling up all area emergency rooms.

Administrators from an eastern Oklahoma hospital spoke out on their treatment of Ivermectin overdose patients after one doctor claimed that an influx of patients overdosing on the over-the-counter version of the drug intended for horses has “backed up” the ERs.

Dr. Jason McElyea initially made the claim toward the end of last week.

“The ERs are so backed up that gunshot victims were having hard times getting to facilities where they can get definitive care and be treated,” McElyea said.

Administrators from Northeastern Health System – Sequoyah in Sallisaw, one of the hospitals where Dr. McElyea works, released a statement on their website claiming that Dr. McElyea’s statements aren’t true of their hospital, and he hasn’t worked at the facility in over two months.

Although Dr. Jason McElyea is not an employee of NHS Sequoyah, he is affiliated with a medical staffing group that provides coverage for our emergency room.

With that said, Dr. McElyea has not worked at our Sallisaw location in over 2 months.

NHS Sequoyah has not treated any patients due to complications related to taking ivermectin. This includes not treating any patients for ivermectin overdose.

All patients who have visited our emergency room have received medical attention as appropriate. Our hospital has not had to turn away any patients seeking emergency care.

We want to reassure our community that our staff is working hard to provide quality healthcare to all patients. We appreciate the opportunity to clarify this issue and as always, we value our community’s support.

-NHS Sequoyah

While NHS Sequoyah administrators are defending their own hospital’s ER availability, Dr. McElyea reportedly also does work for INTEGRIS Health in Grove and McAlester Regional Health Center according to various online profiles.

When asked for comment on the situation, McAlester Regional’s media team gave a statement to KNWA/Fox24.

At this time we are not aware of any Ivermectin overdoses at our facility. Dr. McElyea is not employed with McAlester Regional Health Center.

-McAlester Regional Health Center

INTEGRIS health has not responded to request for comment at this time.

The FDA and CDC both publicly denounced the use of Ivermectin for COVID-19 treatment.

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First Missouri county reaches 50% full vaccination

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Boone County, the home of the University of Missouri in Columbia, is the first county in the state to cross an important milestone in the fight against COVID-19. Half the county’s population is now fully vaccinated against the virus, according to state health officials.

Boone County and the city of Joplin are the only jurisdictions in the state with at least 50% of its population fully vaccinated.

Vaccination is the safest way to achieve herd immunity. Herd immunity for COVID-19 requires 80% to 90% of the population to have immunity, either by vaccination or recovery from the virus.

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the state has recorded 640,559 cumulative cases of SARS-CoV-2—an increase of 1,090 positive cases (PCR testing only)—and 10,657 total deaths as of Monday, Sept. 4, an increase of 2 over yesterday. That’s a case fatality rate of 1.66%.

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

State health officials report 52.2% of the total population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. Approximately 63.4% of all adults 18 years of age and older have initiated the process.

The state has administered 82,223 doses of vaccine in the last 7 days (this metric is subject to a delay, meaning the last three days are not factored in). The highest vaccination rates are among people over 65.

Eleven other jurisdictions in the state are at least 40% fully vaccinated: St. Louis, St. Charles, Franklin, Atchison, Jackson, Cole, Gasconade, and Greene counties, as well as Kansas City, Independence, and St. Louis City.

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%
March 2021 1.74%
April 2021 1.74%
May 2021 1.77%
June 2021 1.77%
July 2021 1.70%
August 2021 1.68%
(Source: Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services)

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 a 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.

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

The 7-day rolling average for cases in Missouri sits at 1,632; yesterday, it was 1,750. Exactly one month ago, the state rolling average was 2,238. 

Approximately 48.9% 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 80,121 recorded cases, while 25 to 29-year-olds have 55,103 cases.

People 80 years of age and older account for approximately 44.9% of all recorded deaths in the state.

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 11,150
April 2021 12,165
May 2021 9,913
June 2021 12,680
July 2021 42,780
August 2021 60,275
September 2021 9,532
(Source: Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services)

Missouri has administered 6,660,875 PCR tests for COVID-19 over the entirety of the pandemic and as of Sept. 5, 16.9% of those tests have come back positive. People who have received multiple PCR tests are not counted twice, according to the state health department.

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 an 11.4% positivity rate as of Sept. 3. Health officials exclude the most recent three days to ensure data accuracy when calculating the moving average.

The 7-day positivity rate was 4.5% on June 1, 10.2% on July 1, and 15.0% on Aug. 1.

As of Sept. 3, Missouri is reporting 2,037 COVID hospitalizations and a rolling 7-day average of 2,181. The remaining inpatient hospital bed capacity sits at 17% 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.

On July 6, the 7-day rolling average for hospitalizations eclipsed the 1,000-person milestone for the first time in four months, with 1,013 patients. The 7-day average for hospitalizations had previously been over 1,000 from Sept. 16, 2020, to March 5, 2021.

On Aug. 5, the average eclipsed 2,000 patients for the first time in more than seven months. It was previously over 2,000 from Nov. 9, 2020, to Jan. 27, 2021.

The 2021 low point on the hospitalization average in Missouri was 655 on May 29.

Across the state, 579 COVID patients are in ICU beds, leaving the state’s remaining intensive care capacity at 16%.

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

As of Sept. 4, the CDC identified 39,831,318 cases of COVID-19 and 644,848 deaths across all 50 states and 9 U.S.-affiliated districts, jurisdictions, and affiliated territories, for a national case-fatality rate of 1.62%.

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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Local Schools COVID-19 update

CARTHAGE, Mo. — While some Missouri schools are seeing growing numbers of COVID cases, the totals are generally low in southwest Missouri — in some cases single digits.

These Carl Junction Junior High students are learning about elements like carbon and hydrogen. And there are more of them in classrooms to take part in in-person lessons.

That includes fewer students learning remotely.

“We have 55 students that are enrolled for virtual instruction this school year which is dearer than what we had last year. But our goal is to have face to face instruction in the classroom and to provide that and I’m thankful that we are doing that and that our students are back in school and in our classrooms learning,” said Dr. David Pyle, CJ R-1 Assistant Superintendent.

CJ Assistant Superintendent Dr. David Pyle says they’re also seeing much lower numbers in COVID quarantines and isolations.

“We currently have no staff members that are isolated or quarantine in fact we have not had that so far this school year. We’ve got three students that are isolated and 34 that are quarantined. And compare that back to last year, we had 10 staff members isolated, 9 that were quarantined – we had five times as many students isolated,” said Dr. Pyle.

A comparison of numbers this week from five local districts show Carthage, Webb City and Neosho each have around a dozen students isolated with COVID.

The Joplin School District has the most student COVID cases at just over two dozen. All five districts have few, if any, teacher and staff quarantines and isolations.

Pyle points out they now know more about COVID than this time last year… and the number of vaccinated patients is growing.

“Vaccination is a layer that that’s in place now that we didn’t have last year. We surveyed our staff prior to the start of the school year and 75% of our staff members are vaccinated. So, I believe that that is definitely helping,” said Dr. Pyle.

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Oklahoma school mask mandate ban blocked, exemptions a must

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — An Oklahoma judge says she is temporarily blocking a state law banning public school mask mandates, but that personal exemptions to mask-wearing will be required.

Judge Natalie Mai’s ruling Wednesday drew praise from Gov. Kevin Stitt, who opposes mask mandates without exemptions, and Dr. Mary Clarke, president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association which joined the lawsuit challenging the law.

Stitt says the ruling is “a victory for parental choice” and Clarke says it allows schools to “maintain local control.”

Mai said the injunction will take effect next week when she issues a written order.