Missouri has been added to the 21 states considered in the federal “red zone” for new COVID-19 cases. A report this week by the White House coronavirus task force is urging leaders to consider more restrictions in virus hot spots, including closing gyms and bars and restricting gatherings to no more than 10 people.

Missouri elevates to federal “red zone” for coronavirus cases

The report, released Wednesday by The New York Times, shows Missouri’s problem spots include the Branson area and Joplin in southwest Missouri, the Lake of the Ozarks region in central Missouri, northeast Missouri’s Hannibal, Pemiscot and Dunklin counties in the bootheel, and the home of the State Fair in west-central Missouri’s Sedalia.

As for St. Louis and Kansas City, the task force considers them to be in the yellow zone because their positivity rates were below 10% last week. Their metro areas make up most of the state’s coronavirus cases.

Missouri has set another record today for the daily increase in the number of COVID-19 cases. The state reports more than 2,000 people have tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the overall count to nearly 49,000 confirmed cases since March. Thirteen new deaths have been reported in the last 24 hours, amounting to at least 1,233 people dying in Missouri from the virus.

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