Missouri COVID-19 Update -- Spike? Or Plateau?

(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson File)

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the concerning uptick Missouri had begun seeing in reported COVID cases. As I noted at the time, though Missouri has, throughout the pandemic, managed to remain largely middle-of-the-road vis-a-vis the other 49 states and District of Columbia, the numbers, unfortunately, had begun rising and the headlines were sounding the alarm.

So, where does Missouri sit now?  Well, for one thing, it’s jumped up another two spots in reported cases (from 27th to 25th), with a total number of reported cases as of this morning (August 9th) of 58,306. (That number sat at 42,171 two weeks ago, for some perspective.) Missouri now has 9,500 cases per million persons, which places it in 38th place (up three spots from two weeks ago.)

There have now been 1,387 deaths in Missouri attributed to COVID-19. That’s up from 1,228 on July 26th (so by 159) but Missouri remains in 25th place in terms of total (reported) COVID-related deaths.  In terms of deaths per million, Missouri now sits at 226, which puts it in 30th place (down one spot).

Regarding testing, Missouri has now reported 814,448 tests administered, which leaves it in 24th place in total tests. As for tests per million persons, Missouri has administered 132,702, which places it 44th. (No change there, either.)

Hospitalizations have remained fairly steady over the month of July into early August. The last reported data per the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services dashboard is 930 as of August 4th.

Again, then, the primary notable change relative to the other states is in reported cases. Testing, while increasing, has not kept pace, as demonstrated in the chart below.


(Note — the Worldometers data for Missouri remained the same from August 8 to August 9, so that convergence of cases, deaths and tests at 0% today is misleading. Presumably, the numbers will be updated either later today or certainly by tomorrow.)

Overall, the blue line (daily % increase in cases) has outpaced the gray line (daily % increase in tests). Thankfully, both have generally remained above the brown (or is that orange?) line (daily % increase in deaths). Missouri’s rough mortality rate (reported deaths divided by reported cases) at this time sits at 2.4%. In comparison, the US rough mortality rate is at 3.2% and New York’s still dwarfs these at 7.3%.

Missouri’s positivity rate (the yellow line — reported cases versus total tests) has been steadily increasing. It currently sits at 7.2%. (It was 5.4% one month ago.) Again, though, that’s below the positivity rate for the U.S. as a whole — presently 8.0% — and well below that seen currently in Arizona, Florida, and Texas (14.9%, 13.3%, and 11.7% respectively).

On balance, then, Missouri has certainly seen its number of daily reported cases increase and moved up in terms of total cases relative to the other states, but thankfully, we are not seeing the sort of spikes that Arizona, Florida, and Texas, for instance, have experienced this summer. Naturally, my preference would be to see that blue line curving back down as we move into the latter part of summer and kids (at least in some places — don’t get me started) head back to school. Seems to me that the less we politicize our analyses and response, the better off we would be but I recognize that’s pretty much a pipe dream. In the meantime, I’ll keep monitoring and reporting on our progress.