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Missouri COVID-19 rate moves to 4th highest in the nation in new White House report

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

Missouri's rate for 100 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 state residents was the fourth highest in the country, according to a new red zone report from the White House.

The state moved up three spots from the last Red Zone report released on Sept. 6.

ABC News obtained the report published on Sunday. It included the state's coronavirus positivity rate was the seventh highest in the nation.

The first recommendation in the report was for the state to establish a mask mandate to decrease COVID-19 transmission.

"Arkansas is a great example in the heartland where statewide transmission has decreased through mask usage," the report said.

Last week, Missouri added 146 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 state residents, the report said. The rate was nearly twice the national average, which was 74 new cases per 100,000 population.

More than 60% of all Missouri counties had moderate or high levels of community transmission with the remaining counties all having high levels of community transmission last week, according to the report.

Columbia and Jefferson City were both included on the report's list of Missouri cities in the 'red zone.' The report said both Mid-Missouri cities confirmed 100 or more new coronavirus cases per 100,000 residents and the positivity rate was higher than 10%.

Seven Mid-Missouri counties were in the report's 'red zone.' Boone, Cole, Callaway, Camden, Miller, Moniteau and Salines counties were all included in the list that included 36 other counties across the state.

The report listed Sedalia and Moberly in the 'yellow zone,' meaning new COVID-19 cases were between 10-100 per 100,000 residents and that the positivity rate was between 5-10%.

White House officials said 95% of hospitals around the state admitted patients with confirmed cases of COVID-19 or suspected cases of COVID-19 last week.

The report included 11% of Missouri nursing homes had at least one new resident test positive for coronavirus during the week that started on Aug. 31. It added 22% of nursing homes had at least one staff member test positive during the same timeframe.

Plans to develop a COVID-19 monitoring system among K-12 teachers, nursing home staff, prison staff, and first responders was also part of the White House' recommendations.

The report recommended areas with high levels of coronavirus transmission should use "standard metrics" to determine capacity limits for bars and restaurants, as well as, school learning options.

It included universities should monitor wastewater across campus to determine areas "with high viral load for targeted testing."

State officials should work with student organizations to establish a testing strategy to find cases early and prevent the spread of the virus, the report said.

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ABC 17 News Team

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