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New COVID-19 cases plummet in Missouri

Mike Stucka
USA TODAY NETWORK

Missouri reported far fewer coronavirus cases in the week ending Sunday, adding 12,533 new cases. That's down 14.6% from the previous week's toll of 14,668 new cases of the virus that causes COVID-19.

Missouri ranked No. 41 among the states where coronavirus was spreading the fastest per person, a USA TODAY Network analysis of Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the latest week the United States added 1,190,227 reported cases of coronavirus, a decrease of -22% from the week before. Across the country, 1 states had more cases in the latest week than they did in the week before.

Across Missouri, cases fell in 86 counties, with the best declines in St. Louis, Jackson and St. Charles counties.

>> See how your community has fared with recent coronavirus cases

The share of Missouri test results that came back positive was 10.2% in the latest week, compared with 12.4% in the week before, a USA TODAY Network analysis of COVID Tracking Project data shows. In the latest week, 117,932 tests were administered; a week earlier, that figure was 114,303. Experts say it is important to look at the share of tests that come back positive, not just case counts, to get a better idea of whether the rate of new infections is changing or if differences in testing are playing a role.

The World Health Organization says places should be conducting enough tests to have fewer than 5% coming back positive. Places where the percentage is higher could struggle to complete contact tracing soon enough to prevent spread of the virus.

Within Missouri, the worst weekly outbreaks per person were in Macon, Gentry and Harrison ​counties​. Adding the most new cases overall were St. Louis County, with 2,709 cases; Kansas City, with 1,068 cases; and Jackson County, with 975. Weekly case counts rose in 25 counties from the previous week. The worst increases from the prior week's pace were in St. Louis City and Lawrence counties and Kansas Cit.

In Missouri, 313 people were reported dead of COVID-19 in the week ending Sunday. In the week before that, 335 people were reported dead.

A total of 461,912 people in Missouri have tested positive for the coronavirus since the pandemic began, and 6,781 people have died from the disease, Johns Hopkins University data shows. In the United States 25,127,000 people have tested positive and 419,214 people have died.

Note: In Missouri, the tally of "counties" here includes St. Louis County and St. Louis City (listed here as St. Louis City County). Kansas City is broken out separately by Johns Hopkins University. Tallies listed here are built off 116 "county" entries.

ICU nurse Abbey Malone asks a COVID-19 patient to wiggle her toes to assess her recovery before removing her breathing tube at Mary Greeley Medical Center in Ames, Iowa, on Dec. 7, 2020.