What you need to know 11-20

COVID-19 learning slide affecting students across the nation and Missouri

Some students have struggled keeping up their grades since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic while others continue to thrive. 

Missouri Education Commissioner Margie Vandeven said she knows this pandemic has created a disruption in the learning skills and proficiency rates. Vandeven said students nationwide and here in Missouri do well in certain learning environments versus others.

“Students learn differently and for some, this method of learning is very natural and they are doing very well in this environment, a virtual environment or a blended environment," Vandeven said. "For the most part, this has been a challenge for our students. It has been a challenge for our teachers learning how to navigate this terrain."

Parson calls for state to slow COVID-19 spread to end hospital staffing shortage

Gov. Mike Parson signed an executive order Thursday officially extending Missouri’s state of emergency for COVID-19. Following the signing, Parson held a briefing during which he focused on how to move forward with the extension and battle the statewide medical staffing shortage.

The governor said people need to change their behavior so that Missouri can move in the right direction in the battle against COVID-19, but stopped short of issuing a mask mandate or taking curfew or shutdown steps other states are taking.

Columbia announces new 'instant payment' option for utility customers

The City of Columbia is adding a new payment option for utility bills.

The city, in conjunction with Walmart, is adding an "instant pay" option for their utility bills, allowing them to reach the City's system in 30 minutes or less.

Utility customers will need to visit any Walmart customer service area and provide their bill or full utility account number and pay for their bill with cash or debit card.

Curators approve construction of new children's hospital

The University of Missouri System Board of Curators unanimously approved construction of a new $232 million hospital facility for Women's and Children's Hospital.

The plan is to centralize the central clinical campus on Hospital Drive with the Women's and Children's Hospital.

The new building is scheduled to begin construction in May 2021 and open in summer 2024.

10 ways to avoid COVID-19 during your holiday road trip

You don't have to be a kid to wish the car ride home for the holidays would speed up. But if there was ever a time to stop, look and proceed with caution, it's 2020, the year of a pandemic that's claimed nearly 1.4 million lives globally, including more than a quarter of a million people in the United States.

But if you must travel, and some 48 million Americans are expected to hit the road for Thanksgiving this year, here are 10 tips to protect you and your family from Covid-19 along the way.

Today's First Alert Weather Forecast

Out the door temperatures are in the middle to upper 50s this morning with partly to mostly cloudy skies. Cloud cover will continue to increase through the day with temperatures reaching the middle 60s by midday. That will be our high for the day and we will slowly cool for the rest of the afternoon and evening.

Today does look mainly dry with a few spot showers and sprinkles possible by late afternoon, mainly along and south of HWY 50. 

Watch the recording of our Facebook live as our team discusses some of the top stories this morning.