COVID-19

At-home COVID tests to be covered by insurance — but details still to come

BY: - December 3, 2021

WASHINGTON — State health officials on Thursday welcomed the Biden administration’s plan to require private health insurers to reimburse Americans for the cost of rapid, at-home COVID-19 tests — though the officials also raised questions about whether the process will be burdensome. Making those tests more accessible will allow Americans to get results quickly and […]

Eric Schmitt and Donald Kauerauf

Missouri health director wanted to appeal judge’s COVID ruling. AG Schmitt refused

BY: and - December 2, 2021

Attorney General Eric Schmitt will not appeal a consequential court ruling that strips powers from local health departments, despite a request from Missouri’s state health director to do so. In an email to The Independent, Schmitt’s spokesman said the attorney general’s office notified the Department of Health and Senior Services of its decision. “We have […]

Man receives vaccine shot in arm.

Missouri allocated $11M for vaccine gift cards. Most health departments said no thanks

BY: and - December 2, 2021

As the delta variant ran rampant this summer, Missouri officials pleaded with the federal government to allow a $100 gift card program to incentivize COVID-19 vaccines. But months later, just 20 of the 115 eligible local health departments have opted into the vaccine incentive program, an investigation by The Missouri Independent and the Documenting COVID-19 […]

Biden to unveil plan to blunt potential COVID surge this winter

BY: - December 2, 2021

WASHINGTON — Reimbursements for at-home rapid COVID-19 tests. Tougher testing requirements for international travelers. More emergency response teams to aid states combating infection spikes. And another big push to get Americans vaccinated. Those are the latest steps to fight COVID-19 that President Joe Biden will be announcing Thursday, according to senior administration officials who briefed reporters […]

Missouri health department found mask mandates work, but didn’t make findings public

BY: , and - December 1, 2021

Mask mandates saved lives and prevented COVID-19 infections in Missouri’s biggest cities during the worst part of the delta variant wave, an analysis by the state Department of Health and Senior Services shows. But the analysis, conducted at the request of Gov. Mike Parson’s office in early November, was never made public and was only […]

Delta variant cases spike again in November as health officials watch for arrival of new strain

BY: and - November 30, 2021

A waning delta variant summer surge gave way to a spike of cases in November, as infections and hospitalizations rose amid concerns about a new variant spreading out of South Africa. The omicron variant hasn’t been detected in Missouri, but public health officials are watching. The first place it is likely to be detected is […]

New COVID omicron variant ‘not a cause for panic,’ Biden says

BY: - November 29, 2021

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden sought to reassure Americans on Monday about the latest COVID-19 variant, describing it as “a cause for concern, not a cause for panic.” Biden did not announce any new travel restrictions or other federal actions during his brief remarks from the White House. Instead, he urged Americans to get a booster […]

Missouri judge strikes down local health officials’ power to impose COVID-19 orders

BY: - November 23, 2021

Cole County Circuit Court Judge Daniel Green on Tuesday ruled that health orders designed to stop the spread of COVID-19 that were issued by local health departments violated the Missouri Constitution. At issue in the case were regulations issued by the Department of Health and Senior Services allowing directors of local health agencies to issue […]

An image of a multistory building with a tall, glass entrance. It is a proposed industrial research complex at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

Gov. Mike Parson wants ‘big ideas’ for using Missouri budget surplus

BY: - November 23, 2021

Gov. Mike Parson wants to do big things with the budget surplus of billions of dollars and federal aid coming to Missouri, state lawmakers were told last week. During a hearing of the Federal Stimulus Spending Subcommittee, higher education leaders offered their wish-list for projects the state couldn’t afford in the past. Southeast Missouri State […]

Reporting change adds almost 2,800 COVID-19 deaths to Missouri total

BY: - November 19, 2021

Missouri’s COVID-19 death toll increased by more than 20 percent Thursday afternoon, to more than 15,000 fatalities. The 2,771 deaths added to the report aren’t news to local health departments. They have been frustrated for months by the Department of Health and Senior Services’ unwillingness to recognize deaths where the patient’s diagnosis was confirmed by […]

University of Missouri Sinclair School of Nursing student Hannah Tipton administers a COVID-19 vaccine to Clifford Nevins during MU Health Care’s vaccination clinic in the Walsworth Family Columns Club

Some states forge ahead with COVID-19 booster shots for all adults

BY: - November 18, 2021

WASHINGTON — Federal health officials are expected as soon as Friday to expand access to COVID-19 booster shots to all American adults. But some states aren’t waiting for a green light from D.C. At least six states already have opened up eligibility for the boosters from Pfizer and Moderna beyond the categories specified by federal […]

COVID-19 cases rising rapidly in Missouri as cooler weather forces activities indoors

BY: - November 17, 2021

For much of October, there were so few new COVID-19 cases in Knox County, Health Director Lori Moots said she began to hope the pandemic was almost over for her constituents. The early September Knox County Corn Festival, she said, didn’t produce the feared spike in cases. And by Oct. 8, the health department was […]