The Missouri Hospital Association says it will stop issuing a daily report about the status of Missouri hospitals during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The daily report will be replaced by a weekly report released every Wednesday. The original daily report gave statistics about how many resources were available to hospitals statewide.

The switch from a daily to a weekly report comes as Missouri has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases. The state reported a daily record of 553 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday, according to the state’s COVID-19 information hub. That report on new COVID cases will continue daily.

During a news briefing Thursday, Missouri Health Director Randall Williams said the state would be including 13,000 backlog tests into Thursday’s numbers report that represent tests from Sunday to Wednesday. Thursday’s report would not reflect a true daily total, he said.

Of those 13,000 tests, Williams said about 160 were positive.

The weekly hospital report will still provide similar information given in the previous daily update, such as ventilator and bed availability, personal protective equipment availability, and hospital admissions. The new report also separates information by seven regions across the state.

The hospital association spokesperson Dave Dillon said the association wants to provide a forward-looking view into how COVID-19 will impact the state, rather than a “static moment-in-time view of where the resources were.”

The new report includes additional information such as the effective reproductive rate, which is an estimate for how many people a COVID-19 case may infect. The variable helps provide a look into future trends.

Dillon also said the original report used an old platform that was unfamiliar to hospital workers. The updated report uses a platform that is both familiar and easier to use for all hospitals.

The updated report will help hospitals better understand how different regions are affected, according to Dillon. Previously, the report only provided a statewide look.

“When you look at assets regionally as opposed to a statewide resource, it allows our hospitals to have a better line of sight on where they are and where their communities are,” Dillon said.

Dillon acknowledged that people used the daily data to conduct their own analysis, but said the priority remains on firsthand analysis.

“So as much as I would love to be able to provide resources for people to do their own stuff, we’re struggling to get our hospitals to do this with all of the data points on a daily basis,” he said. “For the sake of a secondary analysis, I mean frankly is not the priority. The priority is the primary analysis with the decision-makers.”

On Thursday, Boone County reported 17 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total cases to 319 and total active cases to 99 according to the county’s COVID-19 information hub. There are now seven hospitalized Boone County citizens and no new deaths.

Boone County Health Department said it will stop releasing daily COVID-19 news briefings beginning Wednesday, according to a news briefing. The county’s COVID-19 information hub will still be updated daily.

Of the 319 total cases, 34 contracted COVID-19 from travel, 167 via contact with a confirmed case, 95 by community transmission and 23 are pending or unknown.

Boone County has seen a large increase of COVID-19 cases in the last week. On June 18, Boone County reported a daily high of 18 new cases, and on Wednesday the county reported 15 new cases.

There has been a recent outbreak of COVID-19 cases in southwest Missouri in mainly McDonald, Newton and Jasper counties, according to the state’s COVID-19 information hub. The hub specifies that there’s a 72-hour delay for the data.

In the news briefing announcing the testing events, Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services also said it is giving special attention to a food processing plant in the region operated by Tyson Foods.

For more COVID-19 related news, see our section dedicated to COVID-19 updates.
  • General Assignment reporter, summer 2020. Studying data journalism. Reach me at bs2t6@mail.missouri.edu, or in the newsroom at 882-5700.

  • As senior editor of the Missourian, Fred Anklam manages general assignment reporters. He can be reached at anklamf@missouri.edu or in the newsroom at 573-882-5720.

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