Missouri virus cases top 128, including 5 tied to preschool

Monday, March 23, 2020

O'FALLON, MO. - The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Missouri rose by 38 Sunday night, including at least five cases tied to one suburban St. Louis preschool and evidence of community transmission in one county.

The number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, was up to 128, according to statistics released by state and county health officials, an increase from 75 on Saturday. The new cases reported in a release Sunday night by the St. Louis County Health Department indicated that one of the new cases involved someone between the ages of 10 and 19.

Health officials also said that in St. Louis County, where 55 cases have been confirmed, there is evidence of "community-spread," where it's not clear how an infected person contracted the virus and its origin can't be traced.

At least five cases are tied to Temple Israel's preschool in Creve Coeur. The synagogue said in a statement late Saturday that a total of four teachers have now tested positive for COVID-19. A parent of a child at the preschool has also tested positive.

All five are either recovering at home or are no longer symptomatic, according to the synagogue.

The synagogue noted that the parent attended Temple Israel's Purim Carnival on March 8. The event celebrates the saving of the Jews from a threatened massacre in ancient Persia.

The synagogue closed its schools for the remainder of the academic year, which was scheduled to end May 15.

Anheuser-Busch employees will be making hand sanitizer in addition to Budweiser, Bud Light and other beers. The company said on Twitter that it will use its supply and logistics network to begin producing and distributing bottles of sanitizer "to accommodate the growing needs across the United States."

The St. Louis Blues said a relative of a team employee tested positive and is in isolation with family. The hockey team said all Blues staff who may have had contact with the employee have been notified.

"As a result of this positive case, all members of the Blues, as previously directed, are requested to remain isolated, to monitor their health and to seek advice from our team's medical staff," the team statement read.

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

A state representative with the virus, Democrat Joe Runions of Grandview, said in a statement that his condition is improving but progress is slow. He also said his doctors are "deeply concerned" about the potential shortage of supplies.

"Although I remain hospitalized, I am getting better, but it will be a long recovery," Runions said. "The most important thing to me right now is for the doctors, nurses and hospitals in our state to get all of the support and supplies they need as they work to treat this illness."

St. Louis and St. Louis County will be under mandatory stay-at-home orders, effective Monday, and a similar order in the Kansas City area starts Tuesday. Illinois, New York and California are implementing statewide stay-at-home orders, calling on residents to remain in their homes unless they have vital reasons to go out.

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