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Missouri begins vaccinations at long-term care facilities

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Residents and staff of long-term care facilities in Missouri began receiving the vaccine for COVID-19 on Monday, as the state moves into the second phase of inoculations.

Phillip Moore, a 100-year-old Army Air Corps veteran, was first in line to get the vaccine at the Cottages of Lake St. Louis Retirement Center. He said he had already contracted COVID-19, which robbed him of his ability to get around on his own.

“I could get around. I could talk better, take care of myself,” Moore said Monday from his wheelchair. “All of that was taken from me.”

Moore was among several residents and employees who got the first of two shots Monday. The next round will come Jan. 25.

The U.S. Department of Health and Senior Services previously announced it had selected CVS Health and Walgreens to administer the vaccinations at skilled nursing and assisted living facilities.

Also Monday, the Missouri Department of Labor said it was awaiting guidance from federal authorities on implementing new legislation signed by President Donald Trump that extended unemployment benefits.

The president signed on Sunday a $900 billion coronavirus relief bill that extends unemployment assistance programs through March 14. It also provides an extra $300 per week for those who are unemployed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

State labor officials said Monday on the agency’s Twitter account that they were required to wait for federal information on how to implement the legislation. The department encouraged unemployed Missourians to continue to file weekly claims.

State health officials Monday confirmed 1,522 more coronavirus cases and four more deaths, bringing Missouri’s totals since the pandemic began to 383,616 confirmed cases and 5,316 deaths.

However, the state’s rolling seven day average of cases was 1,816, a drop from 2,415 on Sunday. The state’s seven-day average peaked at 4,723 on Nov. 20 and has been declining since then.

The state also reported 2,429 people hospitalized with COVID-19, a decline from the 2,696 people hospitalized on Sunday.

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