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Virus cases continue steady increase in Missouri

By The Associated Press

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The number of coronavirus cases continues to steadily increase across Missouri and hospitalizations remain at a high level.

The state reported 3,729 new virus cases Sunday for a total of 239,451 cases. The number of deaths increased by one to 3,374.

The number of people hospitalized with the virus dipped Sunday to 2,447 from the previous day’s record of 2,523, but hospitalizations have doubled in the past month and capacity is strained in parts of the state. In the St. Louis area, BJC HealthCare and Washington University Physicians announced plans Sunday to suspend some elective surgeries to preserve hospital space for COVID-19 patients.

Local health officials have urged Gov. Mike Parson to impose tougher restrictions to limit the spread of the virus, but he has resisted requiring masks and largely left it up to local officials to impose restrictions. Parson has emphasized personal responsibility over restrictions, and state health officials urged Missourians to wear masks and limit social gatherings on their own.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases in Missouri has nearly doubled over the past two weeks from 2,247.71 new cases per day on Oct. 31 to 4,379.43 new cases per day on Saturday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.