ST. LOUIS — Two-fifths of all of Missouri’s COVID-19 deaths were reported in the last two months of 2020, according to the state health department.
Data on the department’s COVID-19 dashboard shows that 2,369 deaths were reported in November and December. That’s about 41% of the 5,825 deaths attributed to the virus since March.
The death toll grew by 263 on Tuesday, largely because a weekly review of death certificates from around the state found 250 connected to the virus that had not been previously reported. Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services spokeswoman Lisa Cox said the review by the Bureau of Vital Records found one additional coronavirus death from August, two from October, 54 from November and 193 from December. The other 13 were from January.
The state also cited 2,632 new confirmed cases, bringing the total to 405,589 since the onset of the pandemic. Coronavirus hospitalizations remain at concerning levels. The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force said the region’s hospitals are at 85% capacity, and intensive care units are at 87% capacity.
With the rollout of vaccines slower than expected, a Missouri lawmaker has filed legislation that would allow dentists to administer coronavirus vaccines.
Other states also are considering measures to allow dentists to volunteer to give vaccines during emergencies. The Missouri bill was filed Monday by Republican state Rep. Danny Busick of Newtown.
Missouri has taken other steps to broaden the pool of those who can give vaccinations. In December, Republican Gov. Mike Parson’s administration issued an emergency rule allowing pharmacy technicians to administer vaccinations under supervision of licensed pharmacists.
In Kansas City, doctors are urging Black residents to get vaccinated. The Kansas City Star reported that the Black Health Care Coalition is trying to counter decades-long mistrust and fear among communities of color.
“I cannot stress enough the level of death and destruction that this virus has caused and this vaccine represents a light at the end of the tunnel,” said Leslie Fields, an internal medicine specialist and chair of the Greater Kansas City Medical Association. ”We really need to take this as a blessing, because it surely is one.”
According to the state's dashboard, the seven-day positivity rate decreased Tuesday, from 19.6% to 19.4%.
On Tuesday, the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force reported 22 new COVID-19 deaths Tuesday. Over the last week, the task force has reported an average of 19 deaths per day.
The following data are the combined figures from the four major health systems (BJC HealthCare, Mercy, SSM Health, St. Luke’s Hospital) that are part of the task force, for January 5.
- New hospital admissions (data lagged two days) decreased from 107 yesterday to 94 today.
- The seven-day moving average of hospital admissions (data lagged two days) decreased – from 95 yesterday to 92 today.
- The seven-day moving average of hospitalizations decreased - from 802 yesterday to 801 today.
- Inpatient confirmed COVID positive hospitalizations increased – from 836 yesterday to 846 today.
- Inpatient suspected COVID positive hospitalizations increased – from 48 yesterday to 77 today.
- The number of confirmed COVID positive patients in the ICUs decreased – from 180 yesterday to 168 today.
- The number of confirmed COVID positive patients on ventilators decreased – from 109 yesterday to 107 today.
- The number of COVID deaths increased – from 17 yesterday to 22 today.
- The seven-day moving average of COVID deaths increased – from 17 yesterday to 19 today.
- Across the system hospitals, 109 COVID-19 patients were discharged to home yesterday, bringing the cumulative number of COVID-19 patients discharged to 15,066.
- Today, staffed bed hospital capacity is at 85%, an average across our task force hospitals. The ICU’s are at 87% of their total staffed bed capacity.
In Illinois, the state's health department reported 991,719 cases and 16,959 deaths as of Tuesday, a single-day increase of 6,839 cases and 125 deaths.
The state's health department also reported 13,617,454 tests, a single-day increase of 87,083.
The state's seven-day positivity average decreased from 8.6% to 8.5%.
In the Metro East, the seven-day average positivity rate decreased from 13.2% to 13%.