Health Care

Medical marijuana subpoena may have been connected to Independence FBI probe

BY: - December 7, 2020

The head of Missouri’s medical marijuana program testified under oath that a grand jury subpoena his agency received late last year was likely connected to an FBI investigation in Independence.  The revelation by Lyndall Fraker, director of medical marijuana regulation at the Missouri Department of Health and Seniors Services, is the first indication of the […]

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 […]

St. Louis city board recommends further limitations on business capacity

BY: - December 3, 2020

A St. Louis city advisory board has recommended that all businesses in the city reduce their capacity to 25 percent. The city currently mandates bars, restaurants and nightclubs limit their capacity to 50 percent of their permitted occupancy and to close by 11 p.m. “This has not been easy, but hard decisions have to be […]

Howard County Jail closed as COVID outbreak hits sheriff, inmates

BY: and - December 3, 2020

An entire jail in central Missouri is empty today due to a COVID-19 outbreak among inmates and staff. The Howard County Sheriff’s Department closed Saturday and sent the 15 detainees to Cooper County. Sheriff Mike Neal, at least one deputy and most of the jail staff are infected with the coronavirus. The department posted a […]

At suburban Missouri hospital, staff navigate death and denial

BY: - December 3, 2020

LAKE SAINT LOUIS — As one of the darkest years in recent memory inches to a close, Erika Jensen doesn’t mince words when talking about the toll on her staff. “We are so tired,” the nursing director at SSM Health St. Joseph Hospital-Lake Saint Louis said. “I mean, it’s just death after death after death.” […]

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 […]

Missouri Senate approves COVID spending bill, closing action in special session

BY: - December 2, 2020

The Missouri Senate approved a $1.3 billion bill spending remaining federal CARES Act funds Wednesday without any debate on the particular budget items. Instead, the brief debate that essentially ended the second special legislative session of the year focused on the impact of health orders in St. Louis County and plans for legislation next year […]

Missouri Senate to vote on COVID spending bill as pared-back special session nears close

BY: - December 2, 2020

The Missouri Senate is expected Wednesday to complete the work of a special session called to spend unappropriated federal coronavirus aid, following Gov. Mike Parson’s decision Tuesday to spike a bill sheltering businesses from COVID-19-related lawsuits. The Senate Appropriations Committee changed nothing in the $1.3 billion spending bill approved Nov. 10 in the Missouri House […]

CDC panel advises states to prioritize health care workers, nursing homes for COVID vaccine

BY: - December 2, 2020

WASHINGTON — Health care workers and residents of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities would be the first people in the U.S. to receive COVID-19 vaccines under recommendations approved Tuesday by a federal advisory committee.  It will be up to each state to determine how exactly to distribute doses of the vaccines, which could […]

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 […]

Missouri lawmakers file bills to improve access to HIV treatment, reduce stigma

BY: - December 1, 2020

The first step for a person to receive care for HIV is knowing whether they have it. But under a Missouri law passed in the late 1980s, it also means people living with HIV could face prosecution if they expose someone to it. A bipartisan trio of Missouri lawmakers announced Tuesday that they plan to […]