Missouri sees two-day spike in virus cases, deaths

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The number of deaths from the coronavirus in Missouri rose by 37 on Thursday, the second straight day that the state reported a big increase in fatalities.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported 27 deaths on Wednesday from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. The 64 deaths is the most over two consecutive days since the pandemic began.

The state also cited 283 new confirmed cases Thursday and 491 cases over the past two days. Overall, Missouri has recorded 946 deaths and 16,908 confirmed cases.

Health department spokeswoman Lisa Cox said in an email that the state “received a backlog of deaths from St. Louis County at once. That happened yesterday and again today. We haven’t recently seen a day with a big spike in deaths that all occurred in the past 24 hours.”

Parts of southwestern Missouri have seen a big increase in confirmed cases over the past week — 58 new cases in McDonald County, 69 in Jasper County, 30 in Newton County.

The health department director, Randall Williams, said at a news conference that the state was currently testing all 1,420 workers at a food plant in McDonald County. He said the National Guard also planned to help next week with testing in McDonald, Jasper, Newton and Barry counties.

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