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Missouri adds 5,380 COVID cases after holiday break



Missouri records 1,987 new COVID cases; fifth straight day below 2,000

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – After taking the last few days off for the Thanksgiving break, Missouri health officials announced more than 5,000 new COVID-19 cases.

According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), the state has recorded 738,823 cumulative cases of SARS-CoV-2—an increase of 5,380 positive cases (PCR testing only)—and 12,529 total deaths as of Monday, Nov. 29, an increase of 9 over yesterday. That’s a case fatality rate of 1.70%.

It’s important to keep in mind that not all cases and deaths recorded occurred in the last 24 hours. The state health department did not report new data from Nov. 25 through Nov. 28.

State health officials report 57.8% of the total population has received at least one dose of the vaccine. Approximately 69.3% of all adults 18 years of age and older have initiated the process.

The first doses were administered in Missouri on Dec. 13, 2020.

The state has administered 106,282 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.

Joplin, St. Louis City, and Kansas City, as well as St. Louis, St. Charles, Boone, and Atchison counties are the only jurisdictions in the state with at least 50% of its populations fully vaccinated. Thirty-five other jurisdictions in the state are at least 40% fully vaccinated: Cole, Jackson, Franklin, Greene, Cape Girardeau, Jefferson, Nodaway, Cass, Ste. Genevieve, Carroll, Andrew, Callaway, Gasconade, Christian, Benton, Adair, Clinton, Dade, Livingston, Ray, Lafayette, Montgomery, Shelby, Osage, Henry, Clay, Camden, Warren, Howard, Cooper, Phelps, Stone, St. Francois, and Chariton counties, as well as the city of 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.

(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 1,197; yesterday, it was 528. Exactly one month ago, the state rolling average was 709. 

The 10 days with the most reported cases occurred between Oct. 10, 2020, and Nov. 18, 2021.

Approximately 49.9% 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 89,422 recorded cases, while 25 to 29-year-olds have 62,444 cases.

People 80 years of age and older account for approximately 41.9% of all recorded deaths in the state.

Trending: Missouri senator pushing to eliminate personal property taxes 

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 33,855
November 2021 35,903
(Source: Missouri Dept. of Health and Senior Services)

Missouri has administered 7,842,004 PCR tests for COVID-19 over the entirety of the pandemic and as of Nov. 28, 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 10.6% positivity rate as of Nov. 26. 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 Nov. 26, Missouri is reporting 779 COVID hospitalizations and a rolling 7-day average of 1,063. The remaining inpatient hospital bed capacity sits at 24% 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 Missouri, 179 COVID patients are in ICU beds, leaving the state’s remaining intensive care capacity at 24%.

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

As of Nov. 28, the CDC identified 48,106,615 cases of COVID-19 and 776,070 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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Former Ravens coach Brian Billick joins Arizona State’s staff; All-NFL honors for 3 Ravens | NOTES



Former Ravens coach Brian Billick joins Arizona State’s staff; All-NFL honors for 3 Ravens | NOTES

Former Ravens coach Brian Billick has joined Arizona State’s staff as an offensive analyst and adviser to head coach Herm Edwards, the Sun Devils announced Monday.

Billick, who coached the Ravens from 1999 to 2007 and won Super Bowl XXXV, will reunite with his former defensive coordinator, Marvin Lewis, who serves on staff as a special assistant to Edwards. Billick said in a statement that Arizona State reached out two weeks ago, when he was coaching the Hula Bowl, a college football all-star game.

“I have known Coach Edwards for over 40 years and both Ray Anderson and Marvin Lewis for almost that long,” Billick said in the statement. “I really enjoyed tapping into the players there and helping them to highlight their abilities. They proposed this opportunity to me, to have another set of eyes looking at and evaluating Sun Devil football and I thought it was the right time for me to make this move.

“I love what they are doing at ASU. It’s all about structure in the NFL and hopefully that’s what I can bring to the table at ASU. My work for the last 12 years in television at Fox and the NFL Network has allowed me to take a step back and see the game from a different angle. It broadened my perspective and that is what I will bring to this position.”

Edwards said Billick, who recently served as analyst for the NFL Network and has contributed to the Ravens’ team website, “has built one of the finest reputations the NFL has ever known, serving as a head coach, an assistant coach and as a respected television analyst. Brian has one of the brightest offensive minds in football today and that is especially why I hired him. He will serve as a valuable resource to our entire coaching staff, but specifically to our offensive staff.”

Edwards, who served as head coach for the New York Jets and Kansas City Chiefs in the 2000s, is 25-18 overall in four seasons at Arizona State. The Sun Devils are coming off an 8-5 season, including a 6-3 mark in Pac-12 Conference play.

More honors for trio

After earning first-team All-Pro honors earlier this month, Ravens tight end Mark Andrews, kicker Justin Tucker and punt returner Devin Duvernay were named to the All-NFL and All-AFC teams Monday by the Pro Football Writers of America.

Andrews led all NFL tight ends in receptions (107) and receiving yards (1,361) and set franchise records for receiving in both categories. Tucker made 35 of 37 field-goal attempts this season and went 32-for-32 on extra-point attempts. Duvernay, meanwhile, led the league with 13.9 yards per punt return.

Tucker has been named All-NFL by the PFWA in four straight seasons. This is the first such honor for Andrews and Duvernay.

Former Ravens outside linebacker Matthew Judon was named All-AFC after a standout first season with the New England Patriots. Former Maryland cornerback J.C. Jackson, now a star for the Patriots, was also named All-AFC.

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Even Andy Reid — coach of the winning Kansas City Chiefs — thinks the NFL should reconsider its overtime rules



Even Andy Reid — coach of the winning Kansas City Chiefs — thinks the NFL should reconsider its overtime rules

Even the winning coach, in this case Andy Reid, is questioning the NFL’s overtime setup.

One day after Reid’s Kansas City Chiefs won the overtime coin toss, then marched downfield for Travis Kelce’s 8-yard touchdown reception to end an epic divisional-round playoff game with the Buffalo Bills, Reid recognized how fortunate the Chiefs were.

“I had a chance to talk with Sean afterward,” Reid said of Bills coach Sean McDermott, “and that I’m sure is something they’re going to look at again too. And I wouldn’t be opposed to it — it’s a hard thing.

“It was great for us last night, but is it great for the game, which is the most important thing we should all be looking out for? To make things equal, it probably needs to be able to hit both offenses, both defenses.”

That never happened Sunday, and it has not happened much in the playoffs since the current rules were adopted in 2010 for the postseason and 2012 for the regular season. Under those guidelines for the playoffs:

  • Teams play 15-minute periods until there’s a winner.
  • A touchdown or safety on the first possession wins the game.
  • If the score is tied after each team’s first possession, either because neither team scored or because each kicked a field goal, the next score wins the game.
  • There are no coach’s challenges with all reviews initiated by the replay official.

In 11 playoff games that went to overtime, including the first in a Super Bowl when the New England Patriots beat the Atlanta Falcons with a touchdown on the first possession in 2017, the team that got the ball first won 10 of them — seven with opening-drive touchdowns.

The only loss in that span was in the NFC championship game in the 2018 season, when officials blew a blatant pass interference and illegal hit penalty on Los Angeles Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman late in regulation. New Orleans Saints fans insist that overtime never should have occurred.

In regular-season games, the team that got the ball first is 86-65-10 with 34 opening-drive touchdowns, according to Sportradar. So the imbalance isn’t as profound as in the postseason.

Reid knows both sides of overtime outcomes. In the AFC title game in the 2018 season, the Chiefs rallied to force the extra period. But the Patriots won the toss and Tom Brady marched his team downfield against an exhausted defense for a winning touchdown.

This time, Reid was in a better spot after Bills quarterback Josh Allen called tails and heads came up.

“We should never let a football game be determined from a coin,” Bills left tackle Dion Dawkins said. “That’s the craziest rule in sports. Like, you can fight your entire fight the whole game, and then the game comes down to a 50-50 chance of a coin toss.

“This ain’t Vegas. We’re not at the casino table. This ain’t no 50-50 bet and there ain’t even no 50-50 bet. And it’s just crazy that that was the outcome.”

Those who support the current system stress that the defense needs to make a stop, and if it can’t then it gets what it deserves. The opposite viewpoint asks why shouldn’t both teams’ defenses be put in that position?

Might changes be coming? The NFL’s powerful competition committee, which makes proposals for rules changes, has gone into, well, overtime on the topic through the years. If a team or several teams bring it up with specific suggestions for alterations, the committee will consider them. Should those ideas seem worthy, a proposal would be made to the 32 owners at the league meetings in late March.

For now, though, players, coaches and fans have to live with what’s on the books. Not that it helps Dawkins and the Bills.

“It shouldn’t be a race, like, the first guy to touch that wall wins … but that’s what we’re dealt with now,” Dawkins said. “So I don’t want to make an excuse for it. But hopefully it’ll change.”


AP’s Josh Dubow, Dave Skretta and John Wawrow contributed.

AP’s Josh Dubow, Dave Skretta and John Wawrow contributed.

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Kafer: I crossed the King Soopers picket line because the strike wasn’t personal



Kafer: I crossed the King Soopers picket line because the strike wasn’t personal

I thought nothing of crossing the picket line at King Soopers last week before an agreement was reached and the picket stopped. I needed groceries and others’ employee-employer negotiations are not my business. What a job pays is a matter of market forces not a contest between good guys and bad guys. I’m not going to serve as a prop in that play.

As I write, the United Food and Commercial Workers union has come to a loose agreement with Kroger to end the strike. The union was demanding higher wages and the restoration of hazard pay the company previously offered during the first part of the pandemic.

The latter demand seems baseless given the availability of free vaccines and the lower severity of the omicron strain. Moreover, according to health officials, the current infection wave possibly peaked last week in Colorado.

As for whether the pay rates sought by the union or by the company best reflect the market value, I can’t say. I can, however, predict what will happen if labor costs go up. Grocery prices will rise to cover the additional cost. And, since grocery prices have already risen due to inflation, people are likely to change how they shop. Overall, demand for groceries is somewhat inelastic since people have to eat, but shoppers can cut back, buy more generic goods, drop nonessentials from the grocery list, or try to find a marginally better bargain at another store chain. The stores depend on volume to generate profits. Prices can only go up so much before reduced sales impact a company’s viability.

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