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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Department of Veterans Affairs on Monday became the first major federal agency to require health care workers to get COVID-19 vaccines, as the aggressive delta variant spreads and some communities report troubling increases in hospitalizations among unvaccinated people.

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The Franklin County Health Department reported 104 new cases of COVID-19 from July 17 to July 23, the highest number reported since the county moved to weekly instead of daily reports in May. 

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O'FALLON, Mo. (AP) — As lead pastor of one of Missouri's largest churches, Jeremy Johnson has heard all the reasons congregants don't want to get the COVID-19 vaccination. He wants them to know it's not only OK to do so but also is what the Bible urges.

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Pfizer is about to seek U.S. authorization for a third dose of its COVID-19 vaccine, saying Thursday that another shot within 12 months could dramatically boost immunity and maybe help ward off the latest worrisome coronavirus mutant.

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Amy Ryan, of Wildwood, has launched an exploratory committee to study the possibility of running for Missouri Senate District 26, an office held by Dave Schatz since 2014.

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — One Missouri hospital official is telling anyone making disparaging remarks about the COVID-19 vaccine to “Shut up” as state officials ask for federal help dealing with a surge in cases that has some counties urging new precautions.

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Mike Parson's administration floated the idea of a statewide COVID-19 vaccination incentive program and the possibility of a “substantial grand prize” during a meeting of health officials, a newspaper reported.

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Forty-two Franklin County residents have tested positive for COVID-19 this week, pushing the total number of people who have contracted the virus since the start of the pandemic to 2,305, according to a weekly release from the Franklin County Health Department. 

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As of Tuesday, 153 COVID-19 patients were hospitalized in Springfield, up from 31 just over a month ago, according to Greene County figures. That has Mercy Hospital Washington staff concerned the virus will surge again in the Franklin County area in the coming weeks. In particular, they are …

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The U.S. death toll from COVID-19 topped 600,000 on Tuesday, even as the vaccination drive has drastically brought down daily cases and fatalities and allowed the country to emerge from the gloom and look forward to summer.

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The Franklin County Health Department reported Friday that a 70-year-old Pacific man has died of COVID-19-related complications, and an 88-year-old Washington woman has been listed as a probable COVID-19-related death. Their deaths occurred between January and May. 

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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Health officials in Springfield and Joplin are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations amid relatively low vaccination rates and more people gathering for social events without masks or social distancing.

Officials with the Scenic Regional Library have begun repealing some restrictions that were implemented during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic and have announced when the remaining restrictions will be lifted.  

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The Franklin County Health Department reported Friday that two county residents, a 65-year-old Pacific woman and a 92-year-old St. Clair woman, have died due to COVID-19-related complications. 

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Memories of walking the hallways of St. Francis Borgia Regional High School, being challenged to think critically and to be innovative by the faculty and staff, the joys of celebrating both academic and athletic achievements, the laughter shared among friends, the pride of being a Knight — t…

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The Franklin County Health Department reported Friday that 34 county residents tested positive for COVID-19 over the previous week. The residents range in age from an infant boy in St. Clair to a 74-year-old woman in Washington. The report showed no active long-term care cases and three resi…

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WASHINGTON (AP) — In a major step toward returning to pre-pandemic life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.

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U.S. health advisers endorsed use of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in kids as young as 12 this week — just as planned new guidelines say it's OK for people of any age to get a coronavirus shot at the same time as other needed vaccinations.

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NEW YORK (AP) — Children ages 12 and older can now roll up their sleeves for COVID-19 vaccines in the U.S., offering parents and schools a chance to relax their pandemic precautions and bringing the country a step closer to controlling the virus.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — In a major step toward returning to pre-pandemic life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased indoor mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people on Thursday, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and inside in most situations.

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The Franklin County Health Department reported Friday that a 53-year-old Villa Ridge man died of COVID-19-related complications in April. He is the 173rd county resident to die of the virus since the pandemic began in March 2020. An additional 28 people are listed in the probable death category.

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The Franklin County Health Department announced Thursday it would move to releasing one weekly report of new COVID-19 cases each Friday. 

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In a compromise after a debate at the Meramec Valley R-III School District Board of Education meeting April 21, members decided to reduce masking requirements for summer school students. They will revisit the decision in May when they vote on the finalized policy.

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NEW YORK (AP) — The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased its guidelines Tuesday on the wearing of masks outdoors, saying fully vaccinated Americans don't need to cover their faces anymore unless they are in a big crowd of strangers.

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Half of all adults in the U.S. have received at least one COVID-19 shot, the government announced Sunday, marking another milestone in the nation’s largest-ever vaccination campaign but leaving more work to do to convince skeptical Americans to roll up their sleeves.

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Missouri is preparing to launch a $5 million ad campaign to urge residents to get the coronavirus vaccine as appointment times begin to go unfilled in some places even though the state expanded eligibility to everyone age 16 or older.

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The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced Tuesday it would halt use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine until further notice. The move is in response to a plea from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that the c…

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A St. Clair man is facing criminal charges after police say he stabbed his one-time girlfriend three times and then stashed her body in a sleeping bag, which was kept outside.

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The Franklin County Health Department recorded 32 additional COVID-19 cases over the weekend, bringing the countywide total since the pandemic began a year ago to 9,274. The probable case count was 2,048 Tuesday.