The Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services renewed the public health emergency set to expire Wednesday, Oct. 20. Due to the continued effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Secretary extended the PHE through Jan. 22, 2022. As a reminder, Gov. Parson signed an executive order on Aug. 27 extending the state of emergency for certain entities in Missouri through Friday, Dec. 31. MHA will continue to monitor approved waivers on the state and federal level, and communicate changes to members as available.
- Disease Management
Key COVID-19 Metrics Reveal Encouraging Trend In Missouri, Local Variation Concerning
The fourth COVID-19 surge brought the national spotlight on the pernicious effects of the Delta variant to Missouri in late summer 2021. During that period, COVID-19 activity in the state — as measured by new cases, testing positivity rates and deaths — approached statistical thresholds not surpassed since the prolonged surge the state experienced during the late fall and winter of 2020-2021. Since the last week in September, new COVID-19 cases, testing positivity rates and deaths in Missouri each have fallen below the weekly average levels experienced statewide since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020. Unfortunately, the weekly number of COVID-19 vaccine doses administered in Missouri has remained below average since late May 2021.
While the overall levels of community transmission in Missouri continue to recede, there are several counties throughout the state experiencing continued elevated levels.
- Sullivan County in north central Missouri had the highest estimated risk during the previous two weeks with 17% of tests returning a positive result (compared with 5.5% statewide), 16.4 COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 (versus 0.59 statewide), 394 new cases per 100,000 (versus 215 statewide) and only 920 vaccine doses administered per 100,000 residents (versus 2,443 statewide).
- Mercer County, which adjoins Sullivan County to the northwest, experienced the highest testing positivity rate over the previous two weeks at 18.9%.
- Atchison County in the far northwest corner of the state had the highest rate of new COVID-19 cases over the previous two weeks at 525 per 100,000 residents.
- COVID-19 vaccine doses administered during the previous two weeks ranged from 468 per 100,000 residents in Putnam County to 7,179 in Jackson County, a difference of 15-fold.