According to data from Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering, the number of new confirmed coronavirus cases in Missouri had its biggest one-day increase, jumping by more than 400 Friday and claiming 16 more lives.
O'FALLON, Mo. (AP) — According to data from Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering, the number of new confirmed coronavirus cases in Missouri had its biggest one-day increase, jumping by more than 400 Friday and claiming 16 more lives.
Data from Johns Hopkins, which has been tracking cases worldwide, showed 418 newly-confirmed cases, bringing the total to 5,560. The number of deaths rose to 170, up from 154 on Thursday. In just the past week, the number of deaths in Missouri has increased by 78, and 1,936 new cases have been confirmed.
However, these reported figures are not precisely in line with what has been reported from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. As of Friday, the department reported there were 5,283 positive patients and 165 Missourians who have died from the virus. It is important to note that any information reported to a labratory after 2 p.m. will not be reflected until the next day and the DHSS maintains that it is the official record. DHSS also explained their county totals reflect a patient's home address and not where a patient tested positive.
According to the department, John Hopkins collects data from various sources, some governmental and some social, and their sources may not include any verification.
Nevertheless, the latest figures come a day after Republican Gov. Mike Parson extended his statewide stay-at-home order through May 3, with plans to begin a phased-in approach to reopening businesses starting May 4.
Meanwhile, Democratic leaders in St. Louis, St. Louis County, Kansas City and Jackson County all extended their stay-at-home orders through at least mid-May.
The high percentage of black residents who have been sickened and died from the coronavirus “shines a spotlight” on racial inequities in the St. Louis region and elsewhere, Democratic St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said.
Data from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services shows that 34% of deaths from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, have involved black people, 40% white people and the race was unknown for 23% of victims. Blacks make up about 11.5% of the Missouri population.
In St. Louis County, 54% of those who have died were black. About 24% of county residents are black.
“We’ve seen the virus hit extraordinarily hard in our African American communities, not just here locally but across the country," Page said during a news conference Friday. “We need to stop the inequities in the provision of health care in our underserved communities.”
This COVID-19 virus shines a spotlight on those inequities,” Page said.
St. Louis County is nearing completion of a temporary morgue, in case the coronavirus causes more deaths than the existing morgue can handle.
County spokesman Benjamin Granda said the “Dignified Transfer Center” is being built in a 29,000-square-foot building near the Missouri River. It could hold up to 1,300 bodies, though no projections show the county reaching anywhere near that number.
The permanent morgue is a one-story building in Berkeley, with a capacity of 20 bodies. State law requires the county medical examiner to investigate the cause of some deaths, including those from a disease that is thought to be hazardous or contagious.
Sixty-six people in St. Louis County have died from the coronavirus, according to the Johns Hopkins University website.
BROADBAND FOR RURAL AREAS
Parson announced about $3 million in grants will go toward bringing broadband to 4,400 homes, businesses and farms without high-speed internet, which he called "essential infrastructure in the modern economy, especially during these challenging times.”
According to the Federal Communications Commission, nearly 600,000 rural Missourians lack access to high-speed internet. The broadband grant was established by the Legislature in 2018.
SEARCHABLE MAP: Coronavirus death rates and cases for every US county: https://interactives.courier-journal.com/projects/cv19/map/
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