Tuesday COVID-19 Coverage: Stephens College announces new spring graduation dates
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about the impacts in the community.
You can find an active map of confirmed COVID-19 cases county by county here, COVID-19 cases in Missouri broken down by county.
Updates for Tuesday, June 23 will be posted below:
8:00 p.m.: DHSS, DNR partners with MU to test domestic wastewater for Coronavirus
Researchers at MU will be collaborating on a statewide project to test domestic wastewater for genetic markers of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, according to a news release. This is a project with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and the Department of Natural Resources.
The project is funded by a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity grant through the DHSS.
The idea for the project came from studies in the Netherlands, Italy and United States that found a direct correlation between the amount of viral material in sewage and the number of reported cases within a given “sewershed,” or the area that drains into a community’s wastewater collection system.
"While the virus that causes COVID-19 is new, using wastewater for tracking disease is not a new technique. In the past, wastewater testing has proven useful in tracking diseases such as polio and norovirus, and could be a valuable tool for SARS-CoV-2 surveillance," according to a news release.
The virus is shed in human feces, and it can be detected in wastewater by testing for specific genetic markers. It is important to note that wastewater is not a significant transmission pathway for the virus.
“Wastewater surveillance is a cost-effective, proactive effort to inform public health strategy and help mitigate disease spread,” said Chris Wieberg, director of DNR’s Water Protection Program. “We’ve had a tremendous interest and response from our partners in the wastewater treatment sector.”
“This sewage testing can provide additional, population-level information about the presence and amount of virus in a community that is not captured by testing patients,” said Jonathan Garoutte, Administrator of DHSS’s Section for Environmental Public Health.
The data generated from sewage testing will be useful for understanding the distribution of SARS-CoV-2 in Missouri, and monitoring long-term trends for indication of reemergence to inform mitigation efforts.
7:30 p.m.: Stephens College graduation to be held in September
Stephens College has moved commencement ceremonies from May to September due to COVID-19.
For graduate and online students, the ceremony will be on Friday, Sept. 11. It will not be ticketed.
For undergraduate students, the ceremony will be at Saturday, Sept. 12. Stephens asks seniors to request how many tickets they want for this event. It will be held at the Missouri Theatre.
"We made you a promise that you will have Commencement: you deserve it. It is our sincere hope that this change will allow you and your loved ones to celebrate this special day together. We can't wait to see you back on campus," the news release said.
Stephens asks if you have questions about Commencement, please contact Lita Pistono at email@example.com or (573) 876-7210.
7:00 p.m.: Great Race postponed to August 25
The 2020 Great Race, a cross-country endurance competition, was re-scheduled to happen on Tuesday, Aug. 25.
The race was originally scheduled for June 23, but because of the COVID-19 pandemic was cancelled.
According to a news release, the race will be at Benton Square on East 5th Street in Rolla.
The race occurs over the course of nine days from San Antonio to Greenville, South Carolina. It has several stops in Missouri.
5 p.m.: Boone County reports new cases
The Columbia/Boone County Public Health and Human Services Department has reported 10 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the county. This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the county to 287. Of these cases, 73 are considered active.
2 p.m.: Five more virus deaths reported in MO
There have been 18,577 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Missouri, according to the state's Department of Health and Senior Services. As of Tuesday, 966 Missourians have died from the virus.
12:15 p.m.: Billiards on Broadway closing after employee tests positive
Billiards on Broadway in Columbia will be closed for two weeks after an employee tested positive for COVID-19, according to a Facebook post from the restaurant. The time will allow staff to quarantine and thoroughly clean the building, according to the post.