On Easter Sunday, Missouri was largely quiet.
Churches largely commemorated Christianity’s most important holy day via Zoom, Youtube or some other online streaming service. Virus testing sites in Boone County paused testing. Governor Mike Parson held no press briefing.
And the state sat in wait.
In St. Louis, one Roman Catholic priest filled his church’s pews with photos of parishioners he accepted through email, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Choir members’ photos were placed near instruments, and alter servers’ faces were posted near the front, where they typically would sit during Mass. Even some dogs, who would probably not normally be seen at a normal Mass, got spots.
Neighboring Kansas saw a few churches defy their governor’s controversial stay-at-home order, which the state’s Supreme Court upheld, ruling that it did indeed apply to churches.
Pastor Aaron Harris of Calvary Baptist Church in Kansas told the Kansas City Star Sunday morning services there continued as usual, both in person and streaming online. Around 21 attended the Easter service in person, the Star reported.
It was an Easter vastly different from any in recent memory, and the Boone County History and Culture Center introduced a project to preserve the memories of the unusual times spurred by the pandemic.
"The Boone County History & Culture Center is asking individuals - children and adults - to share their story through a written, physical journal or a digital document and donate their record to our historical society so that it can be preserved for future generations," the center wrote in a news release.
The society is requesting that people interested in participating submit daily activities, letters to family members, poems, saved emails, videos or photographs documenting the pandemic to boonehistory.org/remembering-the-coronavirus.
"One hundred years from now, people will want to read first-person narratives," the release reads. "They will want to know what this time was like for the citizens of Boone County."
Confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus in the state rose by 136 cases from 4,024 to 4,160 Sunday, and total deaths due to the disease stood at 110. Inconsistencies with county data remain due to reporting issues, but many numbers are now more in line with what counties are reporting due to reporting requirement changes made by the state last week.
Boone County’s confirmed case count rose from 76 to 79 on Sunday, according to county officials, with 14 active cases. At least one of the new cases of the contagion was by community transmission, according to county data. Boone County has not added a death since its first, recorded in March.
MU Health Care and Boone Hospital Center’s drive-through testing sites will be open Monday.
Cole County’s confirmed count sat at 36, with one death. Montineau County’s count remained at three, and Howard County’s at one.
Cooper County added no new cases after adding two cases last week. Randolph County’s case count sat at eight, while Callaway County’s stayed at 20. Audrain County continued reporting no confirmed cases.
Springfield’s Greene County’s case count remained at 71. No new cases were added over the weekend.
State data continued to indicate the most serious outbreak remains in St. Louis County, with 1,633 total cases, up 65 cases from the day before. The city of St. Louis added 29 cases to bring its total to 614, and outlying St. Charles County had 328.
On the other side of the state, Kansas City added 10 cases to bring its total confirmed cases to 308, and Jackson County outside the city had 213.
Even now, the numbers could very well be incomplete, as state numbers can only track confirmed cases that were tested.
The Missouri Hospital Association reported on Sunday a total of 549 confirmed COVID-19 hospital admissions in Missouri, with 439 patients statewide under investigation for the virus. Of those confirmed hospitalized cases, at least five cases are in MU Health Care’s hospitals.
In 114 reporting hospitals out of 154, 689 out of 2,129 ICU beds remained available Sunday. Additionally, 367 of 595 adult-only ventilators, 775 of 1,371 adult/pediatric ventilators and 31 of 79 pediatric ventilators remained available. Twenty-eight of the reporting hospitals reported shortages of N95 masks, four of those hospitals reported a critical shortage.
The United States now sits atop the world with a label it never wanted: the world’s deadliest outbreak. With over 21,000 deaths and over 546,000 cases, the United States’ death tolls have now surpassed those of China, Italy and Spain. Over one million cases have been reported worldwide.
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