Coronavirus illustration

O'FALLON, MO (AP) -- The number of new confirmed coronavirus cases in Missouri had it's biggest one-day increase, jumping by more than 400 Friday and claiming 16 more lives.

Data from Johns Hopkins University's Center for Systems Science and Engineering, which has been tracking cases worldwide, showed 418 newly-confirmed cases, bringing the total to 5,560. The number of deaths rose to 170, up from 154 on Thursday.

In just the past week, the number of deaths in Missouri has increased by 78, and 1,936 new cases have been confirmed.

The latest figures come a day after Republican Gov. Mike Parson extended his statewide stay-at-home order through May 3, with plans to begin a phased-in approach to reopening businesses starting May 4.

Meanwhile, Democratic leaders in St. Louis, St. Louis County, Kansas City and Jackson County all extended their stay-at-home orders through at least mid-May.

RACIAL INEQUITIES

The high percentage of black residents who have been sickened and died from the coronavirus "shines a spotlight" on racial inequities in the St. Louis region and elsewhere, Democratic St. Louis County Executive Sam Page said.

Data from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services shows that 34% of deaths from COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus, have involved black people, 40% white people and the race was unknown for 23% of victims. Blacks make up about 11.5% of the Missouri population.

In St. Louis County, 54% of those who have died were black. About 24% of county residents are black.

"We've seen the virus hit extraordinarily hard in our African American communities, not just here locally but across the country," Page said during a news conference Friday. "We need to stop the inequities in the provision of health care in our under-served communities.

This COVID-19 virus shines a spotlight on those inequities," Page said.

Copyright 2020 The Associated Press.

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