Health officials add 261 new COVID cases, 9 virus deaths in Missouri

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Missouri has surpassed 510,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, health officials confirmed Wednesday.

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the state has recorded 510,175 cumulative cases of SARS-CoV-2—an increase of 261 positive cases (PCR testing only)—and 9,071 total deaths as of Wednesday, May 26, an increase of 9 over yesterday. That’s a case fatality rate of 1.78%.

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

(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.

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 281; yesterday, it was 282. Exactly one month ago, the state rolling average was 450. 

Approximately 47.2% 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 64,001 recorded cases, while 25 to 29-year-olds have 42,963 cases.

Missouri has administered 5,495,058 PCR tests for COVID-19 over the entirety of the pandemic and as of May 25, 16.1% of those tests have come back positive. 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 11,150
April 2021 12,165
May 2021 8,536
(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 3.9% positivity rate as of May 23. Health officials exclude the most recent three days to ensure data accuracy when calculating the moving average.

As of May 23, Missouri is reporting 624 COVID hospitalizations and a rolling 7-day average of 665. The remaining inpatient hospital bed capacity sits at 23% 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, 136 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 48.3% 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 May 25, the CDC identified 32,994,369 cases of COVID-19 and 588,421 deaths across all 50 states and 9 U.S.-affiliated districts, jurisdictions, and affiliated territories, for a national case-fatality rate of 1.78%.

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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