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Coronavirus

Missouri’s Coronavirus Death Toll Passes the 1,000 Mark

COLUMBIA, Mo. — Missouri reached a grim new milestone in its battle with the coronavirus on Tuesday, surpassing 1,000 deaths amid a resurgence of the disease that has seen cases skyrocket in recent weeks.

“That’s 1,000 people that lost their lives due to COVID-19,” Gov. Mike Parson said Tuesday. “I think we all need to remember that.”

The state health department raised the death toll by 17, to 1,015, and added more than 500 confirmed cases to the statewide tally, raising it to 21,551 since the pandemic started. The number of confirmed cases has quickly increased since the state reopened for business on June 16, swelling by 10.9% in just the past seven days, health officials said.

There are no statewide rules on social distancing currently in place in Missouri. Still, health department Director Randall Williams urged people to continue hand washing and social distancing or wearing masks, especially on July 4.

“Going into this weekend, even if you’re outside, we really, really would encourage you to practice social distancing,” Williams said.

Despite the worsening situation, the University of Missouri is preparing to welcome back students for on-campus classes this fall. The university said Monday that it will require students, faculty and staff to wear masks in classrooms when on-campus classes resume in August, though those plans could change depending on the coronavirus situation. Parson said he had no plans to issue a statewide order mandating that people wear masks in some circumstances.

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