Missouri officials cite reporting delay as virus case spike

Associated Press
Truman Medical Center medical assistant Monica Lane takes a sample for a COVID-19 test during a drive-in testing outreach in the parking lot of a church in Kansas City, Mo. Wednesday, April 22, 2020. Missouri on Tuesday, July 7 reported the state's highest daily increase in confirmed cases of the coronavirus.

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri on Tuesday reported the state's highest daily increase in confirmed cases of the coronavirus, which health officials said is partly due to delayed reporting because of the holiday weekend.

Missouri reported another 773 cases of coronavirus Tuesday, a roughly 3.2% increase from Monday. There have been 24,629 reported cases total since the virus first struck the state. At least 1,042 people have died so far, including another 14 reported Tuesday. 

Health department officials attribute the single-day hike partly to delayed reporting from labs to the state.

"We also had a high volume of case accumulation over the holiday weekend and expect some higher than average numbers tomorrow as well," spokeswoman Lisa Cox said in an email. 

On July 4, the state reported only 59 additional cases, for example.

Despite recent increases in reported cases, Gov. Mike Parson and the state's health department director have pointed to decreases in hospitalizations over time and other factors that they say show Missouri is managing the virus. 

Health department data show roughly 700 daily hospitalizations from COVID-19 in recent days. That's up from the roughly 600 a day reported at the end of last month but lower than the more than 980 when hospitalizations peaked in May.