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Missouri adds 1,074 COVID cases, 16 virus deaths

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Additional Missouri counties surpass 40% full vaccination against COVID-19

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Health officials in Missouri released the latest information on COVID-19 cases and deaths Thursday afternoon.

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the state has recorded 690,432 cumulative cases of SARS-CoV-2—an increase of 1,074 positive cases (PCR testing only)—and 11,821 total deaths as of Thursday, Oct. 14, an increase of 16 over yesterday. That’s a case fatality rate of 1.71%.

Please keep in mind that not all cases and deaths recorded occurred in the last 24 hours.

State health officials report 54.5% of the total population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. Approximately 66.0% of all adults 18 years of age and older have initiated the process.

The state has administered 85,962 doses—including booster shots—of the vaccine in the last 7 days (this metric is subject to a delay, meaning the last three days are not factored in). The highest vaccination rates are among people over 65.

The city of Joplin, St. Louis, St. Charles, and Boone counties are the only jurisdictions in the state with at least 50% of its population fully vaccinated. Twenty-three other jurisdictions in the state are at least 40% fully vaccinated: Atchison, Cole, Jackson, Franklin, Greene, Cape Girardeau, Jefferson, Nodaway, Cass, Ste. Genevieve, Carroll, Andrew, Callaway, Gasconade, Christian, Benton, Clinton, Livingston, Adair, and Dade counties, as well as St. Louis City, Kansas City, and Independence.

Vaccination is the safest way to achieve herd immunity. Herd immunity for COVID-19 requires 80% to 90% of the population to have immunity, either by vaccination or recovery from the virus.

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(Source: Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services)

The Bureau of Vital Records at DHSS performs a weekly linkage between deaths to the state and death certificates to improve quality and ensure all decedents that died of COVID-19 are reflected in the systems. As a result, the state’s death toll will see a sharp increase from time to time. Again, that does not mean a large number of deaths happened in one day; instead, it is a single-day reported increase.

At the state level, DHSS is not tracking probable or pending COVID deaths. Those numbers are not added to the state’s death count until confirmed in the disease surveillance system either by the county or through analysis of death certificates.

The 7-day rolling average for cases in Missouri sits at 888; yesterday, it was 959. Exactly one month ago, the state rolling average was 1,626. 

The 10 days with the most reported cases occurred between Oct. 10, 2020, and Jan. 8, 2021.

Approximately 49.6% of all reported cases are for individuals 39 years of age and younger. The state has further broken down the age groups into smaller units. The 18 to 24 age group has 84,795 recorded cases, while 25 to 29-year-olds have 58,802 cases.

People 80 years of age and older account for approximately 42.8% of all recorded deaths in the state.

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Month / Year Missouri COVID cases*
(reported that month)
March 2020 1,327
April 2020 6,235
May 2020 5,585
June 2020 8,404
July 2020 28,772
August 2020 34,374
September 2020 41,416
October 2020 57,073
November 2020 116,576
December 2020 92,808
January 2021 66,249
February 2021 19,405
March 2021 11,150
April 2021 12,165
May 2021 9,913
June 2021 12,680
July 2021 42,780
August 2021 60,275
September 2021 45,707
October 2021 13,698
(Source: Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services)

Missouri has administered 7,258,023 PCR tests for COVID-19 over the entirety of the pandemic and as of Oct. 13, 16.9% of those tests have come back positive. People who have received multiple PCR tests are not counted twice, according to the state health department.

According to the state health department’s COVID-19 Dashboard, “A PCR test looks for the viral RNA in the nose, throat, or other areas in the respiratory tract to determine if there is an active infection with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. A positive PCR test means that the person has an active COVID-19 infection.”

The Missouri COVID Dashboard no longer includes the deduplicated method of testing when compiling the 7-day moving average of positive tests. The state is now only using the non-deduplicated method, which is the CDC’s preferred method. That number is calculated using the number of tests taken over the period since many people take multiple tests. Under this way of tabulating things, Missouri has a 7.8% positivity rate as of Oct. 11. Health officials exclude the most recent three days to ensure data accuracy when calculating the moving average.

The 7-day positivity rate was 4.5% on June 1, 10.2% on July 1, and 15.0% on Aug. 1.

As of Oct. 11, Missouri is reporting 1,205 COVID hospitalizations and a rolling 7-day average of 1,285. The remaining inpatient hospital bed capacity sits at 23% statewide. The state’s public health care metrics lag behind by three days due to reporting delays, especially on weekends. Keep in mind that the state counts all beds available and not just beds that are staffed by medical personnel.

On July 6, the 7-day rolling average for hospitalizations eclipsed the 1,000-person milestone for the first time in four months, with 1,013 patients. The 7-day average for hospitalizations had previously been over 1,000 from Sept. 16, 2020, to March 5, 2021.

On Aug. 5, the average eclipsed 2,000 patients for the first time in more than seven months. It was previously over 2,000 from Nov. 9, 2020, to Jan. 27, 2021.

The 2021 low point on the hospitalization average in Missouri was 655 on May 29.

Across the state, 332 COVID patients are in ICU beds, leaving the state’s remaining intensive care capacity at 23%.

If you have additional questions about the coronavirus, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services is available at 877-435-8411.

As of Oct. 13, the CDC identified 44,518,018 cases of COVID-19 and 716,370 deaths across all 50 states and 9 U.S.-affiliated districts, jurisdictions, and affiliated territories, for a national case-fatality rate of 1.61%.

How do COVID deaths compare to other illnesses, like the flu or even the H1N1 pandemics of 1918 and 2009? It’s a common question.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), preliminary data on the 2018-2019 influenza season in the United States shows an estimated 35,520,883 cases and 34,157 deaths; that would mean a case-fatality rate of 0.09 percent. Case-fatality rates on previous seasons are as follows: 0.136 percent (2017-2018), 0.131 percent (2016-2017), 0.096 percent (2015-2016), and 0.17 percent (2014-2015).

The 1918 H1N1 epidemic, commonly referred to as the “Spanish Flu,” is estimated to have infected 29.4 million Americans and claimed 675,000 lives as a result; a case-fatality rate of 2.3 percent. The Spanish Flu claimed greater numbers of young people than typically expected from other influenzas.

Beginning in January 2009, another H1N1 virus—known as the “swine flu”—spread around the globe and was first detected in the US in April of that year. The CDC identified an estimated 60.8 million cases and 12,469 deaths; a 0.021 percent case-fatality rate.

For more information and updates regarding COVID mandates, data, and the vaccine, click here.

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Bubble watch: Pandemic made housing’s rich only richer

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Bubble watch: Pandemic made housing’s rich only richer

Bubble Watch” digs into trends that may indicate economic and/or housing market troubles ahead.

Buzz: The housing market’s buying binge has largely inflated prices in what were already some of the nation’s most-expensive metropolitan areas.

Source: My trusty spreadsheet’s analysis of data from the National Association of Realtors of third-quarter median selling prices for existing, single-family homes for 182 metropolitan areas — looking at the latest median prices and how they’ve changed from two years ago.

The Trend

Despite much chatter about a supposed exodus of residents from big, expensive housing markets in the pandemic era, metro areas ranked in the top 20% of all selling prices had a median two-year price gain of 34% — better than a 26% median gain for the rest of the nation.

The Dissection

You see another example of how the rich got richer in the pandemic era when the nation’s housing markets are sliced into five groups based on pricing — with a handful of exceptions …

Upper Crust: The priciest fifth had a $548,350 median, up from $408,550 two years earlier — a gain of 34%, the largest increase of these five slices. Price jumps ranged from 25% (Washington, DC) to 59% (Boise, Idaho). In this group, 92% of the price gains topped the 28% gain seen across all 182 metro areas. No slice had a bigger share of above-par increases.

Next priciest: Next came a fifth of the nation with a $361,000 median — up from $276,350 two years earlier. That’s a gain of 31% that ranged from 18% (Baltimore) to 45% (Spokane). This group had 67% of its metros above the median gain.

Mid-range: The middle of the pack had a $282,650 median, up from $224,750 two years earlier. That 26% gain ranged from 11% (Bismarck, N.D.) to 39% (Atlantic City, N.J.) This group had 45% of its metros beating the U.S. pace.

Next cheapest: This slice’s $232,400 median was up from $185,250 two years earlier. That 25% gain ranged from 16% (Abilene, Texas) to 38% (Ocala, Fla.) This group had 36% of its metros beating the U.S. pace.

Cheapest: The nation’s “bargains” had a $183,550 median, up from $150,300 two years earlier. That 22% gain ranged from 5% (Shreveport, La.) to 36% (Cumberland, Md.) This group had only 11% of its metros beating the U.S. pace.

Note the price gap, top 20% to bottom 20%, grew to $364,800 from $258,250 — a 41% jump!

Another view

All eight California markets in this list topped the 28% all-metro median gain.

San Francisco had the largest jump (up 40% to $1.35 million); then the Inland Empire (up 38% to $524,000); Orange County (up 33% to $1.1 million); San Jose (up 33% to $1.65 million); Los Angeles (up 33% to $860,900); Sacramento (up 32% to $512,000); San Diego (up 32% to $850,000); and Fresno (up 31% to $375,000).

Florida had 16 of its 19 metros with above-par price increases. But just one of 11 Texas metros beat the U.S. pace — Austin, up 51%, the nation’s third-biggest jump.

By the way, 44% of the rest of the metros had gains topping 28%.

How bubbly?

On a scale of zero bubbles (no bubble here) to five bubbles (five-alarm warning) … FIVE BUBBLES!

Just another example of how misguided is the nation’s housing bailout for the coronavirus-chilled economy.

Most of the nation’s priciest metro areas have long been expensive because they’re home to an oversized number of high-paying office jobs. That type of work easily morphed into the pandemic’s key employment niche — remote jobs. These paychecks were relatively steady in an otherwise erratic pandemic economy.

Add in cheap money as a key financial tool deployed to keep housing afloat. That started almost immediately when coronavirus iced the economy in spring 2020 and still exists today.

But this price-gain analysis suggests the greatest appreciation came in places where folks didn’t badly need that kind of financial help. Being an owner in the nation’s costliest regions has forever required a household with one or more secure, good-paying careers and significant savings for downpayments.

So these home seekers used the low rates to help super-heat prices in many already expensive markets.

Meanwhile, low-cost metros saw meager home appreciation. Many of these economies are more blue-collar oriented or tourism-dependent — not work-from-home friendly. Thus, greater job losses and economic pain.

And these modest price increases also suggest that any perceived rush to cheaper housing by people with the pandemic era’s work-from-anywhere freedoms was, at best, less than envisioned.

But let me suggest one positive for the low-price communities; their housing’s nowhere as frothy as their higher-priced neighbors.

Jonathan Lansner is business columnist for the Southern California News Group. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Opinion: Colorado’s dismal recycling record needs a response and we have a plan

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Opinion: Colorado’s dismal recycling record needs a response and we have a plan

The news isn’t good when it comes to recycling and composting in Colorado.

The Colorado Public Interest Research Group (CoPIRG) released their yearly State of Recycling and Composting report a few weeks ago and it turns out we are not the green state we like to think we are, and we are moving in the wrong direction.

Colorado’s statewide recycling and composting rate is a dismal 15%, less than half the national rate of 32%, and behind our state goal to reach 28% diversion by 2021.

Our recycling rate for plastics was even worse than our overall rate — only 9% of plastic containers and plastic packaging is recycled statewide. On average, Colorado residents recycle and compost only 1 pound per person per day, while residents in leading states like Oregon and Washington recycle 3.1 pounds per person per day —over three times more than Colorado residents.

There is widespread support for recycling as seen through municipal surveys in Colorado and a recent national poll that shows 84% of American adults agree that “investing in expanding and improving our nation’s recycling infrastructure should be a higher priority.” Despite this, Colorado continues to lack the recycling services needed to recycle and compost more and our patchwork system has left people confused about what — or how — to recycle.  Statewide recycling can be an important economic driver for Colorado, creating jobs and improving trade imbalances with foreign nations by relying less on materials shipped from around the world.

Colorado is failing to meet its goals to reduce waste, reduce carbon emissions, and curb plastic pollution. If we don’t want to continue on this trajectory, now is the time for a system-wide solution to modernize and transform Colorado’s recycling and composting systems. A “producer responsibility” policy for containers, packaging and printed paper is the most impactful, game-changing policy that can be adopted in 2022.

This legislative session we will introduce a bipartisan producer responsibility policy as the highest priority action to fundamentally revamp and expand recycling in Colorado, eliminate unnecessary and wasteful packaging, and reduce plastic pollution and carbon emissions. This policy will continue to allow municipalities to choose how they engage in recycling. It will ensure that every Coloradan — urban and rural, living in a single-family home or apartment complex — has access to recycling that is as convenient as their trash service and includes the most readily recyclable materials, such as plastic bottles, aluminum cans, glass bottles, cardboard, newspaper and other printed paper.

A producer responsibility policy will have producers pay for the end-of-life management of containers and packaging materials they put on Colorado markets based on the type of material and its environmental impact. The sustainable funding generated from such a program will:  provide convenient access to recycling to every Coloradan; greatly increase our recycling rate and reduce carbon emissions; create a single statewide list of what is recyclable to reduce confusion and increase participation; directly reduce costs for local governments by covering the costs to operate recycling drop-off centers and curbside recycling programs.

And it will boost local economies. Recycling creates nine times more jobs than landfills and this policy will help attract more businesses to Colorado to use our recycled materials to make new products.

In general, this policy will reduce the amount of non-recyclable single-use plastics and encourage companies to use less packaging overall and to choose more recyclable, less toxic packaging formats.

Across the country, environmental groups, recycling operators, consumer goods companies, and the business community are coming together to support producer responsibility policies for containers and packaging. Over 40 countries have mandatory producer responsibility policies for containers and packaging materials, and Maine and Oregon adopted the first U.S. policies in 2021. Colorado’s producer responsibility program for paint, PaintCare Colorado, has been in place since 2015. The program has resulted in over 4 million gallons of recycled paint and tens of thousands of dollars of savings to local governments from paint collection services.

Companies around the world are making bold commitments to use more recycled content in their products and to support recycling, such as the Every Bottle Back initiative by US beverage companies. This is just good business. According to the 2021 Global Green Buying Report, 67% of consumers consider themselves environmentally aware and concerned with sustainability, and 83% of consumers among younger generations showed a willingness to pay more for sustainable packaging. Consumer opinion continues to trend towards sustainability and is impacting purchase decisions.

Recycling and using less are two simple steps we can all take every day to reduce climate pollution, protect our clean air and water, and support healthy ecosystems. This policy will help make it easier for Coloradans to be good stewards of our environment and our climate while creating green jobs and building more resilient local economies.

We have the power to align our image of a green Colorado with reality. Let’s make it happen.

Lisa Cutter of Littleton represents House District 25, including the mountains of Jefferson County. Kevin Priola is State Senator from Henderson who represents Senate District 25 in Adams County.

To send a letter to the editor about this article, submit online or check out our guidelines for how to submit by email or mail.

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Appeals court weighs Trump arguments to withhold records

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Appeals court weighs Trump arguments to withhold records

By NOMAAN MERCHANT

WASHINGTON (AP) — A panel of judges on Tuesday questioned whether they had the authority to grant Donald Trump’s demands and overrule President Joe Biden’s decision to grant Congress documents related to the Jan. 6 insurrection led by Trump’s supporters.

But the judges also noted that there may be times when a former president would be justified in trying to stop the incumbent from releasing records.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit heard arguments from lawyers for former President Trump and the House committee seeking the records as part of its investigation into the Capitol riot. Trump’s attorneys want the court to reverse a federal judge’s ruling allowing the National Archives and Records Administration to turn over the records after Biden waived executive privilege.

Hundreds of Trump supporters marched to the Capitol on Jan. 6 from a rally near the White House where the president had challenged them to go and “fight like hell” to stop Congress’ certification of Biden’s election victory. Some broke into the Capitol, fighting past police, and dozens now face federal charges.

Two Trump allies, former adviser Steve Bannon and former chief of staff Mark Meadows, have resisted efforts by the House panel to obtain documents and question them about possible meetings with Trump before the riot. The Justice Department has indicted Bannon on a contempt of Congress charge. Meadows, seeking to avoid the same, is now cooperating, the committee’s chairman said Tuesday.

The National Archives has said that the documents in question in the current Trump case include presidential diaries, visitor logs, speech drafts, handwritten notes “concerning the events of January 6” from the files of former chief of staff Meadows, and “a draft Executive Order on the topic of election integrity.”

Compared to Chutkan, the three judges on the appeals court have spent relatively little time weighing the importance of the documents themselves. They instead focused most of the hearing Tuesday on what role federal courts should have when an incumbent president and former president are at odds over records from the former’s administration.

The judges sharply questioned both sides and challenged them with hypothetical scenarios.

To Trump’s lawyers, Judge Patricia Millett suggested a situation where a current president negotiating with a foreign leader needed to know what promises a former president had made to that leader. The incumbent might seek to release a transcript of a phone call or other records from the previous administration “to protect our interests,” the judge said.

“To be clear, your position is a former president could come in and file a lawsuit?” Millett said. Trump lawyer Justin Clark responded, “That is our position.”

To a lawyer for the House committee, Millett raised a scenario where a newly elected president might seek retribution against a disliked predecessor. The new president and a Congress led by the same party might declare that there was a national security interest in releasing all of the former president’s records, even at the risk of endangering people’s lives, she said.

“Needless to say, the former president comes to court, (says), ‘Hang on,’” Millett said. “What happens?”

She did not say she was referring to any president and rejected committee lawyer Douglas Letter’s response referencing a president who “fomented an insurrection.”

“We’re not going to make it that easy,” she said.

Letter argued the determination of a current president should outweigh predecessors in almost all circumstances and noted that both Biden and Congress were in agreement that the Jan. 6 records should be turned over.

“It would be astonishing for this court to override the current president and Congress,” Letter said.

Democratic presidents nominated all three judges who heard arguments Tuesday. Millett and Robert Wilkins were nominated by former Barack Obama, and Ketanji Brown Jackson is a Biden appointee.

Given the stakes of the case, either side is likely to appeal to the Supreme Court.

Despite Trump’s false claims about a stolen election — the primary motivation for the violent mob that broke into the Capitol and interrupted the certification of Biden’s victory — the results were confirmed by state officials and upheld by courts. Trump’s attorney general, William Barr, has said the Justice Department found no evidence of widespread fraud that could have changed the results

In explaining why Biden has not shielded Trump’s records, White House counsel Dana Remus has written that they could “shed light on events within the White House on and about January 6 and bear on the Select Committee’s need to understand the facts underlying the most serious attack on the operations of the Federal Government since the Civil War.”

Trump has called the document requests a “vexatious, illegal fishing expedition” that was “untethered from any legitimate legislative purpose,” in his lawsuit to block the National Archives from turning over the documents.

In their appeal to the circuit court, Trump’s lawyers said they agreed with Chutkan that presidents were not kings. “True, but in that same vein, Congress is not Parliament — a legislative body with supreme and unchecked constitutional power over the operations of government,” they wrote.

Trump has argued that records of his deliberations on Jan. 6 must be withheld to protect executive privilege for future presidents and that the Democrat-led House is primarily driven by politics. The House committee’s lawyers rejected those arguments and called Trump’s attempts to assert executive privilege “unprecedented and deeply flawed.”

“It is difficult to imagine a more critical subject for Congressional investigation, and Mr. Trump’s arguments cannot overcome Congress’s pressing need,” the committee’s lawyers said.

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