JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri reached a grim milestone Saturday, topping 100,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services’ coronavirus dashboard cited 1,974 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 101,134. The number is likely higher since many people with the illness go undiagnosed.
The number of hospitalizations statewide rose to 1,040, a new record.
And the state added three new deaths. All told, 1,704 Missourians have died from COVID-19.
The number of cases in Missouri is growing at a rate faster than most places.
Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that over the seven-day period of Sept. 4-10, Missouri saw the sixth highest number of new cases among all states.
The rise became more dramatic after Republican Gov. Mike Parson allowed Missouri to reopen for business in mid-June. Parson’s order urges steps aimed at slowing the spread of the virus such as wearing face coverings and practicing social distancing, but doesn’t require it. But several local cities and counties have implemented their own stricter guidelines.
As of June 15, the state had reported 16,189 confirmed cases. The past 2½ months have seen around 86,000 additional cases.
However, the death rate since spring has slowed considerably. Data shows that 7.1% of people who contracted the virus died in May, compared with 0.8% in August.
In the St. Louis region, the number of new hospital admissions for COVID-19 rose from 29 on Friday to 46, the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force reported Saturday. The seven-day moving average for hospital admissions also rose, from 32 to 35.
The task force is a collaboration between BJC HealthCare, SSM Health, Mercy and St. Luke’s Hospital that track and analyze data related to the coronavirus. The admission numbers reflect a two-day lag.
St. Louis County reported 245 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the cumulative total to 21,588. The death toll rose by five to 768.
Illinois on Saturday reported 2,121 new cases, bringing the year-to-date total to 259,909.
It reported 22 additional deaths, bringing the total to 8,295.
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