Missouri adds 77 COVID-19 deaths; most aren't recent

Associated Press
File - A testing kit sits on the windshield of a car as it passes through a drive-through COVID-19 testing site set up by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and operated by the Missouri National Guard Thursday, May 28, 2020, in St. Charles, Mo.

ST. LOUIS — Missouri added 77 COVID-19 related deaths to its total Saturday, most of which occurred weeks or months ago. 

The state's Department of Health and Senior Services blamed technical issues in a tweet  for the spike that brought the state's total number of deaths since the pandemic began to 1,639. The newly reported deaths included five that occurred over the past 24 hours, with the bulk occurring from June to August. 

"Through continuing efforts to ensure data transparency and quality, DHSS analysts discovered an inconsistency in death certificate diagnosis codes when compared to case information contained in DHSS disease surveillance systems," health officials said in a tweet. "After thorough analysis and evaluation, these additional COVID-19-associated deaths were identified. We expect to report more (although not as many as today) of these on Sunday as we work to complete this evaluation of cases."

Health officials also reported that the number of confirmed cases had risen by 1,987 to 92,202. 

Amid the rise in cases, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson announced Friday in a social media post that bars, restaurants and nightclubs must continue to restrict capacity to 50% and close no later than 11 p.m. each night. The restrictions were originally set to end Sept. 7.