CoronavirusNewsThe SouthSider

Missouri COVID-19 cases top 500,000; more than 8,700 deaths

(AP) — The number of Missourians who have been infected with the coronavirus has now topped the half-million mark.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services cited on Tuesday 524 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19, bringing the total since the start of the pandemic to 500,071. The state also reported 37 new deaths, though 34 of those occurred between November and earlier this month and were uncovered in the state’s weekly review of death certificates. All told, 8,732 Missourians have died from the virus.

The state’s COVID-19 dashboard shows that 36.9% of Missourians have received at least one shot of COVID-19 vaccine, and 26.5% have completed vaccination. Missouri continues to rank in the bottom third among states for per capita vaccinations.

To increase its outreach, the state announced the launching of a Spanish language version of the Missouri Vaccine Navigator, a registry tool aimed at helping direct residents to vaccination sites. The health department said it will offer additional languages soon. The system allows Missourians to register and schedule an appointment by viewing vaccination events throughout the state.

As part of the effort to increase vaccinations in St. Louis city, where just 19.4% of residents have completed their shots, the Missouri State Emergency Management Agency announced a walk-in vaccination clinic would operate each weekday at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park.

Appointments will be accepted Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and walk-ins will be accepted daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The clinic offers the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine only.

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