Missouri reports 136 additional coronavirus deaths

JIM SALTER
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.

O'FALLON — The death toll from the coronavirus in Missouri rose dramatically Friday when the state health department announced 136 additional deaths.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services also reported 2,008 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, and cited data showing that hospitalizations remain at near-record levels.

Health department spokeswoman Lisa Cox said all of the deaths reported Friday actually occurred before October. The state relies on reporting from local health departments, which sometimes report their deaths in batches.

Cox said 125 of the newly reported deaths happened in September, 10 were in August and one in July.

Missouri has reported 139,164 confirmed cases and 2,395 deaths from the coronavirus since the onset of the pandemic.

Data from the state shows that 1,303 people in Missouri were hospitalized as of Thursday, the second-most for any single day. The record of 1,352 hospitalizations was Wednesday. The rise in hospitalizations is occurring largely in rural areas.

JAIL OUTBREAK

St. Louis County authorities are reporting what they call the first evidence of virus transmission inside the county jail.

Nine inmates and a staff member at the St. Louis County Justice Center have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent days. In the previous eight months, the county had reported a total of 37 positive tests among inmates and 24 among employees, and all of those cases were traced to transmission that happened outside the jail.

A routine screening on Oct. 2 found one inmate with the virus, the county health department said in a news release. That prompted further testing of inmates and staff who had contact with that inmate.

The sickened staff member is showing symptoms, but all nine inmates are not, the county said.