State data showed more than 3,500 people had tested positive for the novel coronavirus as of Thursday afternoon, 213 more than were reported yesterday.
The data also included 19 newly recorded deaths, bringing the overall total to 77. The newly reported deaths came from Buchanan, Greene, Jackson, Jefferson, St. Louis and Taney counties.
As usual, the state tally updated at 2 p.m. lagged behind reporting by some of the state's counties, making day-to-day comparisons somewhat fuzzy.
For example, state data showed St. Louis County had 15 deaths Wednesday and 28 deaths Thursday, suggesting a daily increase of 13.
But St. Louis County was reporting 24 total deaths Monday, meaning the daily increase indicated by state data is likely inaccurate.
The totals also may not reflect the full number of people who have contracted the disease because some may not have had symptoms or have not been tested. Notably, the data does not include the number of people who have recovered from the disease statewide.
However, taken at face value, the data suggest the spread of the virus is slowing, a likely effect of social distancing and strict stay-at-home rules in many parts of the state.
The differences between state totals day-to-day this week are fractions of what they were last month.
Local data in Springfield's Greene County has indicated similar progress in slowing the spread of the disease.
If the number of infections here would have grown as originally projected, around 200 people would have first seen symptoms by March 29, officials said. Instead, the county reported fewer than 70 people were symptomatic at that point.
Officials at the state and local levels have urged people to continue observing stay-at-home orders and social distancing to keep the progress going.
Overall, the state data continued to indicate the most serious outbreak has taken place in the St. Louis County with 1,393 total cases, up about 7 percent from the day before.
The city of St. Louis had 498, a day-to-day increase of 12 percent.
On the other side of the state, Kansas City had 257, up 3.21 percent, and Jackson County outside the city had 177, up 6 percent.
Columbia’s Boone County stood still at 78 and Springfield’s Greene County had 71, up one from the previous day's number.
Separate data compiled by the Missouri Hospital Association from 117 of 154 possible hospitals showed 568 COVID-19 patients hospitalized as of Thursday morning, a 9.4 percent increase over the day before.
Those hospitals also had 419 patients “under investigation” for the virus, a decline of 18.7 percent from the day before.
Roughly 29.7 percent of crucial intensive care beds were available among hospitals surveyed, down from 33.9 percent the day before. More than half of those facilities' potentially lifesaving ventilators remained available.
Hospitals in the St. Louis area are also set to get some help. State officials said Wednesday they would have a hotel in Florissant converted to provide 100 additional hospital beds in the coming days.
Nationwide, there were more than 454,000 cases and more than 16,000 deaths as of 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, according to a database maintained by Johns Hopkins University.
Worldwide, there were more than 1.4 million cases and more than 87,000 deaths.