Missouri eclipses 12,000 recorded COVID deaths

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – State health officials in Missouri have recorded more than 12,000 recorded COVID-19 deaths.

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the state has recorded 699,034 cumulative cases of SARS-CoV-2—an increase of 648 positive cases (PCR testing only)—and 12,016 total deaths as of Tuesday, Oct. 26, an increase of 65 over yesterday. That’s a case fatality rate of 1.72%.

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

State health officials report 55.0% of the total population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. Approximately 66.7% of all adults 18 years of age and older have initiated the process.

The state has administered 79,303 doses—including booster shots—of the vaccine in the last 7 days (this metric is subject to a delay, meaning the last three days are not factored in). The highest vaccination rates are among people over 65.

The city of Joplin, St. Louis, St. Charles, and Boone counties are the only jurisdictions in the state with at least 50% of its population fully vaccinated. Twenty-four other jurisdictions in the state are at least 40% fully vaccinated: Atchison, Cole, Jackson, Franklin, Greene, Cape Girardeau, Jefferson, Nodaway, Cass, Ste. Genevieve, Carroll, Andrew, Callaway, Gasconade, Christian, Benton, Adair, Clinton, Dade, Livingston, and Osage counties, as well as St. Louis City, Kansas City, and Independence.

Vaccination is the safest way to achieve herd immunity. Herd immunity for COVID-19 requires 80% to 90% of the population to have immunity, either by vaccination or recovery from the virus.

MonthCumulative case-fatality rate
on the final day of the month
March 20201.06%
April 20204.35%
May 20204.71%
June 20204.71%
July 20202.52%
August 20201.81%
September 20201.68%
October 20201.65%
November 20201.28%
December 20201.41%
January 20211.47%
February 20211.66%
March 20211.74%
April 20211.74%
May 20211.77%
June 20211.77%
July 20211.70%
August 20211.68%
September 20211.70%
(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.

The 7-day rolling average for cases in Missouri sits at 722; yesterday, it was 731. Exactly one month ago, the state rolling average was 1,387. 

The 10 days with the most reported cases occurred between Oct. 10, 2020, and Jan. 8, 2021.

Approximately 49.6% 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 85,535 recorded cases, while 25 to 29-year-olds have 59,375 cases.

People 80 years of age and older account for approximately 42.5% of all recorded deaths in the state.

Month / YearMissouri COVID cases*
(reported that month)
March 20201,327
April 20206,235
May 20205,585
June 20208,404
July 202028,772
August 202034,374
September 202041,416
October 202057,073
November 2020116,576
December 202092,808
January 202166,249
February 202119,405
March 202111,150
April 202112,165
May 20219,913
June 202112,680
July 202142,780
August 202160,275
September 202145,707
October 202122,300
(Source: Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services)

Missouri has administered 7,406,794 PCR tests for COVID-19 over the entirety of the pandemic and as of Oct. 25, 16.8% of those tests have come back positive. People who have received multiple PCR tests are not counted twice, according to the state health department.

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 6.4% positivity rate as of Oct. 23. Health officials exclude the most recent three days to ensure data accuracy when calculating the moving average.

The 7-day positivity rate was 4.5% on June 1, 10.2% on July 1, and 15.0% on Aug. 1.

As of Oct. 23, Missouri is reporting 999 COVID hospitalizations and a rolling 7-day average of 1,109. The remaining inpatient hospital bed capacity sits at 22% 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.

On July 6, the 7-day rolling average for hospitalizations eclipsed the 1,000-person milestone for the first time in four months, with 1,013 patients. The 7-day average for hospitalizations had previously been over 1,000 from Sept. 16, 2020, to March 5, 2021.

On Aug. 5, the average eclipsed 2,000 patients for the first time in more than seven months. It was previously over 2,000 from Nov. 9, 2020, to Jan. 27, 2021.

The 2021 low point on the hospitalization average in Missouri was 655 on May 29.

Across the state, 268 COVID patients are in ICU beds, leaving the state’s remaining intensive care capacity at 22%.

If you have additional questions about the coronavirus, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is available at 877-435-8411.

As of Oct. 25, the CDC identified 45,363,116 cases of COVID-19 and 734,752 deaths across all 50 states and 9 U.S.-affiliated districts, jurisdictions, and affiliated territories, for a national case-fatality rate of 1.62%.

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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