Experts in every corner of Missouri see room for optimism in the fight against the coronavirus, thanks to a drop in new cases, fewer hospital stays and other factors.
O’FALLON – Experts in every corner of Missouri see room for optimism in the fight against coronavirus as new cases have fallen, hospital admissions have fallen, and other factors.
The state health department reported 1,079 new confirmed cases and 133 new deaths Tuesday, although 103 of those deaths had occurred previously but were not reported until the state’s weekly review of death certificates. Missouri now has 451,493 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 6,686 deaths since the pandemic started last winter.
However, there is evidence that the post-holiday surge is over and the situation is improving. The 7-day average for new cases reported on Tuesday was 27.2% below the previous 7-day average, according to the state’s COVID-19 dashboard.
Hospital stays remain high but are falling. Dr. Alex Garza of the St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force said the improvements were particularly noteworthy given the time of year.
“The fact that this happens in winter, when respiratory viruses are usually the most spreading, shows us how effective all preventive measures actually are when we use them,” said Garza.
Other parts of the state are also seeing improvements.
The Kansas City Star reported that the Kansas City area added 382 new cases on Monday, the lowest total in nearly three months. The region includes parts of Kansas as well as Missouri.
The star noted that the 7-day average for the region was 580 cases, compared with 1,005 two weeks ago.
Joplin officials also had better numbers, including a sharp drop in hospital stays. The Joplin Globe reported that 49 people with the virus were hospitalized in Joplin on Monday, up from 105 a few weeks ago.
Officials warn that it’s too early to loosen up things like social distancing, and that would potentially include a parade if the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs win the Super Bowl. The Chiefs will claim their second straight title when they play Tampa Bay on February 7th.
Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas, officials with the Chiefs and the Kansas City Sports Commission, issued a joint statement Monday confirming that if the Chiefs won, there would be no parade. Last year’s parade drew hundreds of thousands of fans dressed in red.
“We hope this trip ends with a win in Tampa. If so, we will continue to work with the experts to safely celebrate when the time is right,” Chiefs President Mark Donovan said in a statement.