public health


Debate on COVID vaccinations is reminiscent of smoking bans

BY: - August 12, 2021

This notion that one’s “rights” are more important than the health and well-being of others has a long history. Our problem with the unvaccinated is just the latest manifestation. Americans are belatedly lining up in impressive numbers to be immunized against COVID-19. And, still, at about 60% of the population, not enough are doing so […]

Eminence, Missouri

Missouri tourist hub no stranger to COVID’s wrath. But many still wary of vaccine

BY: - July 14, 2021

EMINENCE — Nearly everyone in Shannon County has seen what the COVID-19 virus can do to a person. Last week as the local health center held a vaccination clinic, tourists flocked to the county of 8,000 in Southern Missouri, where residents have borne their fair share of the virus’ wrath. Armand Spurgin knew one of […]

COVID-19 Testing

‘A highway away’: Delta variant, low vaccine rates cause COVID spike across Missouri

BY: - June 25, 2021

Kendra Findley had thought the Springfield area had seen the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic in December — a month when cases regularly surpassed 200 a day and that saw a record 98 residents die of the virus. Looking back, that was when the Alpha variant, first identified in the U.K., was burning through the […]

After relying on local officials to combat COVID, Parson signs limit on health orders

BY: - June 15, 2021

Gov. Mike Parson’s strategy to contain the spread of COVID-19 was simple: local officials know best. Statewide mandates emanating from Jefferson City didn’t make sense in a state as diverse as Missouri, Parson argued amid the pandemic’s peak while rebuffing calls for him to take statewide action. But on Tuesday Parson signed a bill curbing […]

A patient has their blood drawn for syphilis testing at an AIDS Project of the Ozarks clinic.

Free testing aims to curb STIs that went unchecked as COVID spread in Missouri

BY: - May 18, 2021

As the case counts of the novel coronavirus began to tick up last March across Missouri, providers who offer tests for sexually transmitted infections (STIs) found their resources were being pulled in two directions. Swabs were in short supply as they became needed for COVID-19 testing. Contact tracers, who reach out to track an infection’s […]

Missouri lawmakers pass bill limiting local health orders, banning vaccine passports

BY: - May 12, 2021

As the state of Missouri battles its second year of the novel coronavirus’ spread, lawmakers on Wednesday sent to the governor’s desk a bill that aims to rein in local public health orders and ban vaccine passports. The provisions were included on House Bill 271, which deals with local government transparency. It grew from three […]

Missouri Senate renews push to bar vaccine passports, rein in local health orders

BY: - April 28, 2021

A push to provide greater oversight over local health orders and ban vaccine passports was renewed this week when the Missouri Senate tacked both proposals onto a sprawling bill on local government issues. House Bill 271 swelled from just three pages when it was originally introduced to 101 on Tuesday afternoon, after nearly 30 amendments […]

Restrictions on local health orders regain momentum as bill advances in Missouri Senate

BY: - March 31, 2021

Less than a week after the Senate rejected a push to limit the authority and scope of local health orders during states of emergency, a Senate committee revived the issue Wednesday. House Bill 75, sponsored by Rep. Jim Murphy, R-St. Louis, was passed out of the Senate Health and Pensions Committee the same day it […]

Syringes of COVID-19 vaccinations are filled during MU Health Care’s vaccination clinic

How Missouri’s public health defunding led to vaccination chaos

BY: - March 26, 2021

Missourians have driven hours to find vaccines in rural counties — at least those with cars and the time. Tens of thousands of doses are waiting to be distributed, slowly being rolled out in a federal long-term care program. Waitlists are hundreds of thousands of people long. Black residents are getting left behind. Missouri’s rocky […]

‘Ready to give up’: Eligible Missourians struggle to find vaccine appointments

BY: - February 23, 2021

Darlene Davis has been searching for an available vaccine appointment in the Kansas City area at least three times a day. In her search, Davis, a 77-year old nurse who lives in Independence, developed a routine checking sites online for appointments. “I go in the morning when I get up at six. I go about […]

‘At the whims of the state’: Confusion persists for Missouri’s COVID-19 vaccinators

BY: - February 12, 2021

When the St. Louis County Department of Public Health saw itself listed among the hospitals expected to receive thousands of vaccines last week, it came as a surprise.  No one had told the health department or hospital systems that was the plan, or even what that meant — setting off days of confusion over where […]

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 […]