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COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES: Missouri reports 3,764 new coronavirus cases, adds 189 deaths

KMBC Kansas City logo KMBC Kansas City 11/25/2020
a red and white sign: CORONAVIRUS LIVE UPDATES © Provided by KMBC Kansas City CORONAVIRUS LIVE UPDATES

Kansas City metro area health officials are grappling with how to handle continuing case count increases after reopening businesses more than three months ago.

What you need to know:

  • The Kansas Department of Health and Environment said Monday the state has 142,059 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and there have been 1,456 deaths since the outbreak started. Kansas is now only updating COVID-19 data on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
  • The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said Tuesday there have been 278,661 cases of COVID-19 since the start of the outbreak and 3,750 deaths.
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TUESDAY

8:20 p.m. -- Missouri Gov. Mike Parson announced Tuesday the launch of a new vaccine website for Missouri residents. MOStopsCOVID.com gives residents information regarding the safety of the vaccines, research and production processes, and when they may be eligible for vaccination. The website will also offer additional functionality as vaccines become available.

3:30 p.m. -- The Kansas State High School Activities Association board of directors voted to allow the winter high school sports season to start on Dec. 1 with a moratorium on competitions from Dec. 23 to Jan. 7, 2021. The decision is opposite of the original recommendation from the KSHSAA Executive Board that suggested delaying the start of winter sports until Jan. 15. READ MORE

2:50 p.m. -- Kansas City, Kansas Municipal Court will be closed from Dec. 1 to Jan. 18. The closure is part of the county's ongoing efforts to increase public safety and reduce the spread of COVID-19. This temporary closure applies to all cases except for domestic violence and necessary trials. Hearings that are currently scheduled will be rescheduled for a date after Jan. 18.

2:30 p.m. -- Missouri prisons have seen a surge of inmate deaths connected to the coronavirus this month, prompting civil rights leaders to urge additional steps to protect prisoners and staff.

Meanwhile, an IT issue is blamed for data on inmate and staff cases and deaths disappearing from the Missouri Department of Corrections website. Spokeswoman Karen Pojmann said Tuesday that the state was upgrading to a new system when officials discovered the data wasn’t exporting. It isn’t clear when it will be fixed.

During the first few months of the pandemic, confirmed coronavirus cases were common but mostly mild among Missouri prisoners. Through August, the state had reported just one inmate death.

But Pojmann said 26 additional inmates infected with COVID-19 have died since September, most of them this month. She said the deaths have occurred at 11 of the 18 prisons for men. No female prisoners with COVID-19 have died.

In most cases, it isn’t certain that COVID-19 was the primary cause of death, Pojmann said. All but two of the victims had serious underlying conditions such as late-stage renal failure, heart disease or cancer, she said. Most were older than 60.

Four corrections department employees have died — three prison workers and one person who worked at the office in Jefferson City.

Pojmann said up to 4,500 inmates have been infected, including 758 active cases. Among staff, 254 workers currently have the virus among up to 1,800 infected since the pandemic began. She said the exact numbers of total infections is hard to determine because some cases may have been counted twice.

The Missouri NAACP and several other organizations are calling on Gov. Mike Parson to take steps to further protect inmates. State NAACP President Nimrod Chapel Jr. compared prisons to nursing homes in that the confined populations largely become infected through contact with staff.

“If you’re going into these institutions just like a nursing home, you need to wear mask,” Chapel said. “It’s only coming in from the outside, ostensibly.”

Pojmann said the state already requires masks for staff, a policy implemented statewide in July. She cited other measures, including isolating all inmates who test positive or show symptoms, and isolating their close contacts such as cellmates.

The state on Tuesday reported 3,764 new confirmed cases, bringing the total number to 278,661 since the onset of the pandemic. The state also reported 189 new deaths, saying 161 of them occurred previously but had not been reported. Still, 147 of those previously unreported deaths occurred this month.

Hospital capacity remains a major concern. The state’s COVID-19 dashboard says ICU capacity statewide remained at 17% for the second straight day.

Some political leaders worry that Thanksgiving gatherings will cause new outbreaks and are urging people to keep their celebrations small. Gov. Mike Parson is not among them.

“The holidays are coming, and as the Governor of the State of Missouri, I am not going to mandate who goes in the front door of your home,” the Republican governor wrote on Twitter. “Government has no business going through the front door of your homes to decide how many members of your family are there, how many are not.”

1:22 p.m. -- The Kansas City Missouri Health Department reported 21,270 overall confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak reported. It also reported there have been 269 deaths in KCMO since the outbreak started.

1 p.m. -- The Kansas State High School Activities Association board of directors is meeting to vote on a proposal to delay the start of the winter high school sports season until Jan. 15.

10:45 a.m. -- On Tuesday, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported 3,764 new coronavirus cases, bringing the number of total COVID-19 cases to 278,661 since the start of the outbreak.

There were 189 new deaths reported on Tuesday, and now there have now been 3,750 linked to COVID-19 in Missouri. The MDHSS said Monday that 161 new deaths would be added to the reporting on Tuesday after reviewing death certificates across the state.

[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]

Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.

The state said it has tested a total of 2,960,516, and 131,114 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 24,922 positive cases, an average of 3,560 cases a day and 78 deaths in the last week.

Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 21,884 (+464) confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 16,106 (+628) cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 4,314 (+11) cases in Clay County, 3,391 (+134) in Cass County and 1,487 (+72) in Platte County.

9:45 a.m. -- Johnson County reported Tuesday morning 22,564 (+391) cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak started, 4,941 cases in the last 14 days and 820 cases per 100,000 people in the county over the last 14 days.

The county said it has 14,218 presumed recoveries, 283 (+9) people have died, and 742 (+9) people have been hospitalized since the start of the outbreak.

Johnson County said it has tested 181,518 people with 158,564 tests coming back negative.

As of Tuesday, the school reopening gating criteria – the 14-day rolling total used by the county to make recommendations on how schools should reopen – remained in the red phase and the percent positivity moving average is at 15.64.

The county said it is monitoring 50 outbreaks at senior living care facilities. It also said that 190 people from senior living care facilities have died, which is 67% of the deaths in Johnson County.

9:35 a.m. -- University of Kansas Health Systems officials said Tuesday they are currently treating 138 COVID-19 patients with 93 active/acute infections. Officials said 44 of those active cases are in the ICU, 23 are on a ventilator and 45 are in recovery.

8 a.m. -- Hospital beds across Missouri are nearly four-fifths full, and capacity is even more limited in intensive care units as the coronavirus pandemic continues its autumn surge.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services on Monday cited 2,805 hospitalizations statewide -- double the number from a month ago. The state’s COVID-19 dashboard notes that just 21% of capacity remains at hospitals, and ICU capacity is down to 17%.

Bed capacity is at 13% in northwest Missouri, 17% in the St. Louis region and 19% in Kansas City. ICU capacity is at 13% in the southwestern part of the state and in St. Louis.

More than 100 patients are hospitalized at CoxHealth facilities in Springfield and elsewhere in the Ozarks region.

“Not a milestone any of us wanted to reach. We need to reverse direction. We can’t pretend this isn’t real. We can’t wish it away. We can’t hope somebody does something,” Erik Frederick, chief administrative officer for Mercy Springfield, wrote on Twitter.

Missouri Hospital Association spokesman David Dillon said staffing shortages at hospitals are also a major concern.

“Hospitals are experiencing staff shortages not just related to the high levels of utilization, but because our staff are sidelined with the virus, through quarantine and because of the influence of COVID-19 on their lives,” Dillon said in an email.

Health care leaders across the state are urging Missourians to wear masks, and many are warning that people should avoid large gatherings -- even family gatherings -- on Thanksgiving.

The pandemic is taking a toll on travel. While Lambert Airport in St. Louis is seeing increased passengers this week, overall numbers are expected to fall well short of what is typical for the days around Thanksgiving.

“We’re anticipating that we’ll see about 50% of the levels of 2019 or about a 5 to 10% increase in what we’ve been seeing in the last few weeks,” Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, the airport’s director, told St. Louis Public Radio.

The state reported 3,370 new confirmed cases and two more deaths on Monday. All told, Missouri has reported 274,897 confirmed cases and 3,561 deaths since the pandemic began. The seven-day positivity rate is 20.4%.

7:30 a.m.-- Wyandotte County is reporting Tuesday morning 10,338 (+79) confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak started, with 86 (+0) patients currently hospitalized and 381 (+6) probable cases. The county said 178 (+1) people have died from the coronavirus since the start of the outbreak.

The county’s COVID-19 report indicates which ZIP codes have the most recent cases. Over a 14-day period, the 66102 ZIP code had 236 cases, followed by 66109 with 235, 66104 with 228 and 66106 with 181.

7 a.m. -- The state of Kansas isn’t officially listing the number of people who have recovered from COVID-19, but local health departments across the state are keeping track.

According to numbers from Tuesday morning, there have been 83,629 people who have recovered from the coronavirus.

This includes 13,951 in Johnson County, 6,835 in Wyandotte County, 2,851 in Leavenworth County, 3,296 in Douglas County and 534 in Miami County.

6 a.m. -- Surging pandemic numbers are straining hospitals across Kansas just days before Thanksgiving gatherings that public health officials fear could worsen the outbreak.

The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported on Monday 95 new hospitalizations, bringing the total of hospitalizations to 4,777 since the start of the pandemic. The state’s COVID-19 dashboard showed 240 coronavirus patients were in ICU units, with 36% of ICU capacity remaining in Kansas.

State health officials added 7,526 cases to the state’s pandemic tally since Friday, bringing the total to 142,059. The data showed that Kansas averaged 2,760 new confirmed and probable coronavirus a day for the seven days ending Monday. That is just slightly below the record average of 2,766 cases.

The number of COVID-19-related deaths also rose by 46 to 1,456.

Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly requested on Monday an extension of federal authority allowing the use of Kansas National Guard to combat the spread of COVID-19 in the state. The letter requests extension of 100% of funding for up to 500 National Guard members through the end of March.

“With the president’s approval, this extension will enable Kansas to maintain community-based testing, continue distributing medical and testing supplies, and ensure Kansas businesses can stay open,” Kelly said in a news release.

Chuck Welch, vice president of the Hutchinson Regional Healthcare System, said his hospital has averaged about 30 COVID-19 patients since October, compared to about four in the months before -- an increase of more than 600%. Nurses have had to take about 10 shifts in a row, with less time off, Welch said.

“And not just the nurses, the physicians, we have four pulmonologists that are working around the clock, our respiratory therapists, our lab people, our imaging people. Everybody is just stretched,” Welch said. “Our housekeeping, they have to go in and clean those rooms thoroughly before we can put anybody else in on them.”

The University of Kansas Hospital broke records on Monday for the total number of hospitalized coronavirus patients, those in the ICU and the number of virus patients on ventilators, The Kansas City Star reported.

The hospital had 139 COVID-19 patients, said Dana Hawkinson, medical director of infection prevention and control at The University of Kansas Health System.

Of the 100 patients deemed active coronavirus cases, 46 are in the intensive care unit, and 26 of those in the ICU are on a ventilator, he said. In addition to those active cases, 39 other patients are in recovery at the hospital.

[ CLICK HERE FOR MAPS OF COVID-19 CASES BY COUNTY IN KANSAS & MISSOURI ]

[ TRACKING COVID-19 CURVE OF CASES, DEATHS IN KANSAS & MISSOURI ]

MONDAY

6 p.m. -- Saturday's Arkansas at Missouri football game has been postponed. Vanderbilt will now play at Missouri on Saturday. This is a rescheduling of a game that was postponed on Oct. 17. It will be played at 11 a.m. on Saturday. READ MORE

5 p.m. -- The University of Kansas said it will continue to not host fans during the first week of December, which includes all events through and including Dec. 5.

"The decision to not host fans through the first week of December has been made after consultation with our Pandemic Medical Advisory Team and other university leaders. We will continue consulting this group regarding upcoming events and will communicate updates with you as appropriate," KU Chancellor Douglas Girod said.

4:15 p.m. -- The City Council of Clinton, Missouri, approved a mask mandate effective immediately during a Monday afternoon meeting. The mask mandate passed by a 7-1 vote. Councilman Daniel Wilson was the only no vote. READ MORE

3:50 p.m. -- The Miami County Commission voted 3-2 Monday to allow Kansas Gov. Laura Kelly's mask mandate to take effect on Wednesday. READ MORE

12:30 p.m. -- The Kansas Department of Health and Environment reported an increase of 7,526 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in its first update since Friday, pushing the statewide total to 142,059 since the outbreak started.

KDHE officials said Monday the death total grew by 46 to 1,456 and hospitalizations increased by 95 to 4,777 since the outbreak started.

The average median age of the deaths is 80, which is steady from Friday’s reporting.

Health officials said Monday that 36% (+6%) of ICU beds are available and 77% (-1%) of the state’s ventilators are available.

The state said it has tested 784,288 people with 642,229 negative test results and an overall monthly positive test rate of 19.0%.

[ KANSAS COVID-19 COVID-19 DASHBOARD ]

For the first time since the outbreak started, Sedgwick County – where Wichita is located – has passed Johnson County for the most confirmed cases in Kansas. Sedgwick County has 25,157 cases, while Johnson County reported 25,025 since the outbreak started.

Wyandotte County is third with 10,924 cases.

Leavenworth County – home to Lansing Correctional Facility – has 3,503 cases, and Douglas County now reports 4,223 The Douglas County case count is largely tied to increases at the University of Kansas.

Health officials said the median age of people with COVID-19 is 38, and they are monitoring 409 (+0 active outbreak clusters with 155 (+0) clusters reported in long-term care facilities.

10:45 a.m. -- On Monday, the Cass County Commission issued a series of revised COVID-19 recommendations – not mandates – as the virus continues to spread through the county.

The suggestions come as the county has a seven-day positivity rate of 18.3% and there are 390.4 people infected per 100,000 in the county, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Cass County also added 41 new COVID-19 cases on Monday and has had 1,487 cases total since the start of the outbreak. The county is in an extreme risk category, according to health officials. READ MORE

10 a.m. -- On Monday, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported 3,370 new coronavirus cases, bringing the number of total COVID-19 cases to 274,897 since the start of the outbreak.

There were two new deaths reported on Monday, and now there have now been 3,561 linked to COVID-19 in Missouri.

[ MISSOURI COVID-19 DASHBOARD]

Missouri does not list how many people have recovered from COVID-19.

The state said it has tested a total of 2,942,201, and 123,701 were tested in the past seven days. There have been 23,668 positive cases, an average of 3,381 cases a day and 65 deaths in the last week.

Looking at local numbers, the DHSS reported 21,420 (+188) confirmed cases in Kansas City, Missouri, and 15,478 (+442) cases in Jackson County. The state also lists 4,314 (+26) cases in Clay County, 3,391 (+55) in Cass County and 1,487 (+41) in Platte County.

9:35 a.m. -- Johnson County reported Monday morning 22,173 cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak started, 4,954 cases in the last 14 days and 822 cases per 100,000 people in the county over the last 14 days.

The county said it has 14,072 presumed recoveries, 274 people have died, and 733 people have been hospitalized since the start of the outbreak.

Johnson County said it has tested 180,008 people with 157,835 tests coming back negative.

As of Monday, the school reopening gating criteria – the 14-day rolling total used by the county to make recommendations on how schools should reopen – remained in the red phase and the percent positivity moving average is at 15.6%.

The county said it is monitoring 47 outbreaks at senior living care facilities. It also said that 183 people from senior living care facilities have died, which is 66% of the deaths in Johnson County.

8 a.m. -- AstraZeneca said Monday that late-stage trials showed that its COVID-19 vaccine with Oxford University was up to 90% effective in preventing disease. The results are based on interim analysis of trials in the U.K. and Brazil of a vaccine developed by Oxford University and manufactured by AstraZeneca. No hospitalizations or severe cases of COVID-19 were reported in those receiving the vaccine, AstraZeneca said. READ MORE

7:30 a.m.-- Wyandotte County is reporting Monday morning 10,259 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the outbreak started, with 86 patients currently hospitalized and 375 probable cases. The county said 177 people have died from the coronavirus since the start of the outbreak.

The county’s COVID-19 report indicates which ZIP codes have the most recent cases. Over a 14-day period, the 66104 ZIP code had 200 cases, followed by 66109 with 195, 66102 with 190 and 66106 with 148.

7 a.m. -- The state of Kansas isn’t officially listing the number of people who have recovered from COVID-19, but local health departments across the state are keeping track.

According to numbers from Monday morning, there have been 81,907 people who have recovered from the coronavirus.

This includes 13,951 in Johnson County, 6,835 in Wyandotte County, 2,681 in Leavenworth County and 3,290 in Douglas County.

6 a.m. -- Although authorities have been encouraging people to wear masks to slow the spread of the coronavirus, many police departments leave it up to officers to decide whether to cover their faces while interacting with the public.

Some cities, including Chicago, Los Angeles and New York, require police to wear masks in most situations, but law enforcement officers elsewhere are exempt from such protocols.

In Kansas City, Missouri, two speakers at a Police Board of Commissioners meeting earlier this month criticized officers for routinely not wearing masks in public, saying they even had to hand out masks to some at that event.

At the time, the city exempted essential workers such as police officers and first responders from wearing masks, while requiring everyone else to do so outside the home. But Mayor Quinton Lucas removed that exemption on Monday as he issued a series of stricter guidelines citing a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says masks help slow the spread of the coronavirus by inhibiting the flow of respiratory droplets that carry the virus. The CDC guidelines for law enforcement officers essentially mirrors safety guidance for members of the public.

In Minnesota, residents are required to wear masks in indoor businesses or public spaces, and people working outside must wear them when social distancing is not possible.

But police and other first responders have been exempt “in situations where wearing a face covering would seriously interfere in the performance of their public safety responsibilities.”

Jim Mortenson, executive director for the Law Enforcement Labor Services, a Minnesota police union, said reasonable exemptions are necessary.

“If you come across somebody and someone starts firing a weapon on your vehicle as you’re coming up on a scene, the last thing you are going to think about is putting a mask on,” Mortensen said.

Other police union officials either declined to discuss the issue or said local police departments should take the lead on masking decisions. Mik Shanks, president of the Kansas State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, said individual departments must determine how the officers are equipped.

It’s reasonable to expect police to wear masks during more routine work, said David A. Harris, a law professor and expert on police issues at the University of Pittsburgh.

“When the requirement says they don’t have to, period, it is understandable the public is going to ask why,” Harris said. “If there’s not a reason they can’t and shouldn’t wear masks, why not wear them?”

Mayors in New York and Chicago have said officers will be disciplined for not complying with mask ordinances following complaints from the public.

On Monday, when asked about unmasked officers at a recent demonstration, New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said his office has repeatedly talked to city agencies about the issue. He thinks progress has been made but that more needs to be done.

“Sometimes, particularly in public safety work or in health work, there may be a valid reason, but overwhelmingly, all public servants should have those masks on, period, and if they don’t, there should be consequences,” he said.

With COVID-19 cases on the rise in Chicago, Mayor Lori Lightfoot has threatened disciplinary action for officers who ignore a city requirement to wear masks on duty when social distancing is not possible.

The city has escalated its efforts to ensure officers comply, with department directives, public awareness campaigns, internal messaging and compliance checks. As of last week, disciplinary proceedings have begun against one officer for not wearing a mask, and other investigations are underway, city spokesman Howard Ludwig said.

The refusal to wear masks also is a symptom of low morale among police officers who have been repeatedly attacked and vilified, particularly since racial injustice protests erupted following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May, said Eugene O’Donnell, a former New York City police officer and a professor at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice.

“You can’t ignore that the culture war is central to this,” O’Donnell said. “The government has kicked the stuffing out of police and used the issue as political mechanics. They have had no concern about the lives of officers, and they are seen as pretending to have concern with the mask issue. ... It’s not a real good time to ask police for anything.”

And it’s unreasonable to expect officers to worry about wearing a mask while also carrying weapons and complying with other responsibilities, he said.

“It’s game day out there. You have to take it seriously and tune in all the time,” O’Donnell said. “Some officers legitimately just think adding to a long checklist of to-dos might be distractive to focusing on the job, which can quickly get serious.”

Harris agreed that the masks can limit vision, hamper breathing and otherwise distract the officers. But while he sympathizes, he said following protocols that protect the safety of the public and other officers is part of the job.

“We’re all fed up,” Harris said. “Maybe they are more fed up than others. ... Masks are an inconvenience for everyone. This is more than misery loves company. They have signed up for a job that entails public contact. I’m sorry it’s an extra thing, but those are the breaks.”

[ CLICK HERE FOR MAPS OF COVID-19 CASES BY COUNTY IN KANSAS & MISSOURI ]

[ TRACKING COVID-19 CURVE OF CASES, DEATHS IN KANSAS & MISSOURI ]

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

READ THE FULL STORY:COVID-19 LIVE UPDATES: Missouri reports 3,764 new coronavirus cases, adds 189 deaths

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