GENERIC: Missouri coronavirus, COVID-19

Missouri has reached a grim milestone, topping 100,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services’ coronavirus dashboard cited 1,974 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the total since the pandemic began to 101,134. The number is likely higher since many people with the illness go undiagnosed.

The state also added three news deaths. All told, 1,704 Missourians have died from COVID-19.

And the number of cases is growing at a rate faster than most places. Data from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention shows that over the seven-day period of Sept. 4-10, Missouri saw the sixth highest number of new cases among all states.

The rise became more dramatic after Republican Gov. Mike Parson allowed Missouri to reopen for business in mid-June. Parson’s order urges steps aimed at slowing the spread of the virus such as wearing face coverings and practicing social distancing, but doesn’t require it. But several local cities and counties have implemented their own stricter guidelines.

As of June 15, the state had reported 16,189 confirmed cases. The past 2 ½ months have seen around 186,000 additional cases.

However, the death rate since spring has slowed considerably. Data shows that 7.1% of people who contracted the virus died in May, compared to 0.8% in August.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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