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Missouri reports record COVID-19 hospitalizations

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri health officials reported on Saturday the state’s biggest one-day increase in COVID-19 cases amid record hospitalizations across the state.

Missouri now has 235,722 positive cases, an increase of 6,346 cases. The death toll rose by 14 to 3,373 deaths since the start of the pandemic, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services’ website.

Hospitalizations across the state also hit a record of 2,523, an increase of about 23% in one week.

The seven-day average of new cases reached 3,996. Missouri is now seeing 28,000 new cases per week, or an average of 4,000 new cases per day, health officials said. During the previous week, the rate was 2,800 new cases per day.

Dr. Randall Williams, the state health department’s director, urged Missourians to continue to “physically distance, wear masks, use hand sanitizer and avoid congregating indoors when possible, even during the holidays.”

The St. Louis Metropolitan Pandemic Task Force urged the governor on Friday to take steps to curb the spread of coronavirus, including imposing a statewide mask mandate, citing concern that there won’t be enough hospital beds available if people continue getting sick at the current rate.

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