Author

Tessa Weinberg

Tessa Weinberg

Tessa Weinberg covers education, health care and the legislature. She previously covered the Missouri statehouse for The Kansas City Star and The Columbia Missourian, where her reporting into social media use by the governor prompted an investigation by the Attorney General’s office. She most recently covered state government in Texas for The Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

‘You just deliver’: Missouri pharmacies pour energy into preparations for COVID vaccine

By: - December 23, 2020

More than 23,000 initial shots of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered across Missouri so far. But before doses are even delivered, a herculean amount of work has gone on behind the scenes to ensure its smooth arrival. Approved as a vaccinator with the state, Alps Pharmacy, an independent, locally-owned pharmacy in the Springfield area, has […]

Confusion, delays hamper COVID vaccine shipments to Clay County hospitals

By: - December 22, 2020

Last week, as celebratory photos of healthcare workers receiving the first doses of a coronavirus vaccine flooded social media, frontline staff at Liberty Hospital waited in anticipation — knowing their shipments would be coming this week. The ultra-cold freezers sat waiting. Staff who had prepared to administer doses were standing by. Instead, the hospital was […]

In Missouri mental health facilities, COVID surged. Staff say policies are patchwork

By: - December 18, 2020

More than 1,500 coronavirus cases have been reported across Missouri’s Department of Mental Health offices and facilities since the start of September — a figure that’s nearly five times larger than the previous six months combined. Those cases represent staff and patients in state-run mental health hospitals and department offices in roughly 20 communities throughout […]

Missouri may get 30 percent less of its second dose of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine

By: and - December 16, 2020

Missouri may be receiving about 25 to 30 percent less of the second dose of Pfizer’s COVID vaccine than it had anticipated, the state health department director said Wednesday. The state will “be seeing a little bit less” of the second scheduled dose, Randall Williams, the director of the Department of Health and Senior Services, […]

‘I got butterflies’: Missouri’s healthcare workers receive first doses of COVID vaccine

By: - December 14, 2020

Sarah Kiehl, an intensive care unit nurse who has been treating patients with the novel coronavirus at the Truman Medical Center, had no idea when she arrived for work Monday that she would be one of the first in Kansas City to be vaccinated against COVID-19. “To be honest, I got butterflies,” Kiehl told reporters […]

Missouri’s first COVID vaccine doses are on the way. How do you get people to take them?

By: - December 14, 2020

Nestled in the pages of Missouri’s initial plan for how to distribute the highly-anticipated coronavirus vaccine was a paragraph touting that “Missouri’s population understands the importance of receiving a COVID-19 vaccine.” A month later, in a revised version of the report, the paragraph was gone.  Instead, the updated plan featured a new section that targeted […]

Missouri GOP lawmakers call on battleground states to investigate 2020 election results

By: - December 10, 2020

With the Nov. 3 presidential election more than a month ago, over half of Missouri’s Republican state representatives — including the incoming speaker of the House — are calling on Congress to refuse to certify six battleground states’ electoral college votes unless they investigate their results. Rep. Justin Hill, a Republican from Lake St. Louis, […]

Missouri students will take standardized tests. Results won’t factor into accountability measures

By: - December 8, 2020

State standardized tests will still be administered for the 2020-21 school year, but their results will not be factored into state and federal accountability systems, following a vote of the Missouri State Board of Education on Tuesday. While test results won’t be incorporated into accountability measures, such as school district accreditation, board members spoke of […]

Missouri expects to receive over 300,000 initial doses of COVID vaccine this month

By: - December 4, 2020

By the end of this year, Missouri will have enough doses of a COVID vaccine to give the initial shot to most of the state’s roughly 350,000 long-term care facility residents and staff and healthcare providers, state health department director Randall Williams said Friday. In a call with reporters, Williams said he anticipates mass vaccinations, […]

As COVID cases tick up, Missouri pins its hopes on a vaccine’s arrival

By: - December 4, 2020

After a slight Thanksgiving lull, Missouri’s COVID cases are once again rising, as the state pins its hopes on additional doses of a vaccine that will be coming later this month. The state already anticipates it will receive enough doses of the Pfizer vaccine to treat 51,000 people, with another 64,000 Pfizer doses and 105,000 […]

Company to bring hundreds of staff to Missouri as hospitalizations hover near record levels

By: - December 2, 2020

As hospitalizations of patients with the novel coronavirus hover at some of the highest levels Missouri has seen, Gov. Mike Parson announced Wednesday a partnership that he hopes will bring hundreds of healthcare workers to the state and expand capacity through February. The state will be partnering with Vizient, a healthcare performance improvement company based […]

Reversing course, Parson asks lawmakers to drop COVID liability bill from special session

By: - December 1, 2020

Less than three weeks after expanding the special session’s call, Gov. Mike Parson reversed course and asked lawmakers to wait until January to take up legislation that aims to shield businesses from lawsuits stemming from the pandemic. A spokeswoman for the governor confirmed his request in an email to The Independent on Tuesday night as […]