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Missouri sees another triple-digit jump in COVID-19 cases

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri health officials reported 179 new confirmed coronavirus cases Tuesday, as the state continues to see daily triple-digit increases.

The state has recorded 14,913 confirmed cases since the pandemic began. KMIZ reported that Tuesday was only the second time in the last nine days when the daily total was less than 180.

The state’s COVID-19 death toll increased to 840 on Tuesday, which was 21 more than on Monday. It was the biggest increase in deaths in Missouri since May 30, when 33 deaths were reported.

A long-term care center in Clay County reported on Monday an outbreak of COVID-19, with 53 cases. The patients include residents and staff at the Pleasant Valley Manor Care Center, Clay County officials said. Two people have died at the facility, but health officials did not say if they were staff members or patients.

The center said in a statement that it was working with county, state and federal health officials to ensure that proper steps were being taken to stop the spread of the virus.

Gov. Mike Parson, a Republican, ended the statewide stay-at-home order May 4. The state has been trying to ramp up testing since then.

Missouri Medicaid Director Todd Richardson said Tuesday that 108 long-term care facilities had performed widespread testing in the past two weeks, which identified 79 staffers and 180 residents with COVID-19.

Testing at state-run homes identified 21 positive staffers at mental health facilities who Richardson said were now self-isolating. Two staffers tested positive at veterans homes, and six staffers and 18 minors tested positive after testing at 21 youth-services homes.

Richardson said testing at three of the state’s prisons had identified six employees and 15 positive prisoners.

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