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Missouri reports 1,451 new COVID-19 infections, three deaths

Missouri reports 1,451 new COVID-19 infections, three deaths

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Missouri on Sunday reported more than 1,400 new coronavirus cases and three deaths even as the pace of the coronavirus' spread continued a gradual decrease from record highs in November.

Illinois, meanwhile, reported 3,767 new coronavirus infections, bringing the total number of people in the state infected by the virus to 937,909. 

The state also reported 104 deaths due to COVID-19, raising the state's death toll to 15,969.

Overall, new daily COVID-19 infections in Missouri and Illinois continued to decline Sunday from a record high in late November. But more people are being infected by COVID-19 each day in both states than at any time before November.

Missouri recorded 1,451 new coronavirus cases on Sunday, raising the total number of people in the state infected by the virus to 382,094, according to the Department of Health and Services.

The state also reported three deaths, bringing the total number of people killed by COVID-19 in Missouri to 5,312.

The seven-day moving average of people newly infected each day was 2,415 as of Sunday, down from 2,504 a day earlier.

But the average is roughly ten times as high as in April, and was higher than a peak average July 30 of 1,590, at a time when a rapid rise in cases set daily records.

Across Missouri, at least 2,656 people were hospitalized Christmas Eve for COVID-19, according to DHSS. 

In Illinois, the seven-day moving average of people newly infected by the coronavirus dropped to 5,362 on Sunday, down from 5,682 a day earlier. But that average is higher than at any point before November.  

And 4,021 people were hospitalized across the state on Christmas Day, according to state records. 

Hospitals in the St. Louis region reported 64 people were newly admitted for treatment of severe COVID-19 symptoms, down from 84 admissions a day earlier, according to the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force. There is a two-day lag on hospitalization data, which comes from the St. Louis area’s four major health systems: BJC HealthCare, Mercy, SSM Health and St. Luke’s Hospital.

The drop in daily admissions reflected a decrease in the seven-day moving average of people newly hospitalized for COVID-19, from 104 on Saturday to 98 as of Sunday, according to the task force.

But on average, more people are admitted to hospitals for COVID-19 treatment than at any point before Nov. 10, when the average was 91. 

The number of COVID-19s, however, increased: 16 people died of COVID in one day, up from 15 a day earlier, the task force reports. The seven-day moving average of people dying of COVID-19 each day increased from 18 on Saturday to 19 on Sunday.

Meanwhile, COVID-19 infections continue to put pressure on the region’s hospitals systems: as of Sunday, 87% of beds in hospital intensive care units were occupied with patients.

At least 865 people were being treated for COVID-19 symptoms at the region's hospitals, more than at any point before mid-November. 

Updated at 2:30 p.m. 

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Reporter covering breaking news and crime by night. Born in Algeria but grew up in St. Louis. Previously reported for The Associated Press in Jackson, Mississippi and at the Wichita Eagle in Wichita, Kansas.

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