An employee who worked in a non-clinical role at University of Missouri Health Care has died of COVID-19.

In a news release Wednesday afternoon, MU Health stated that the person reported not feeling well at work, was sent home and tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. The person never returned to work.

The release did not give the gender of the employee, where they resided or an approximate age. The release stated the person did not have interactions with the public or patients.

“We are deeply saddened by the loss of a valued member of our health system community,” MU Health CEO Jonathan Curtright said in the release.

The information is being shared to be transparent with employees and the community but most information is being withheld to preserve privacy, Curtright said.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to our colleague’s loved ones, and we offer them our love and support during this difficult time,” MU School of Medicine Dean Steve Zweig said.

State situation

Missouri and Boone County ended the worst month of the COVID-19 pandemic on Wednesday after enduring 30 days of record case counts, hospitalizations and deaths.

Nearly one-third of Missouri’s 126,113 cases reported since early March — 41,416 according to figures supplied through the Department of Health and Human Services’ new dashboard — came in September. On 27 of 30 days, the department reported more than 1,000 new cases, including 1,351 on Wednesday.

Of those new cases statewide, just over 5 percent were reported in Boone County, which has less than 3 percent of the state’s population.

There were an average of 1,380 cases reported each day, surpassing the mark set in August of 1,108 cases per day. None of Missouri’s 117 local health jurisdictions reported fewer than six new cases in the month.

In Boone County, where figures for Wednesday were not available at press time, case counts peaked in the first week of September but remained high and with one day left to report, the average was 69 cases a day. The previous high, set in August, was 46.5 cases per day.

Missouri reported 588 deaths in September, but many of them actually occurred earlier, mainly in July and August. Boone County reported five deaths in September after reporting seven in the first six months of the pandemic.

The state reported a surge in seven-day average for hospitalizations on Wednesday, to a new high of 1,139. That would indicate that nearly 1,380 people were hospitalized statewide on Tuesday.

In Boone County, MU Health Care reported it had 30 people hospitalized and Boone Hospital Center had 20 inpatients with COVID-19, both near the highs set earlier in the month.