KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to spread across the world, and in Missouri and Kansas.
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Updates on the spread of the virus and how it is affecting the metro can be found below for July 30.
9:52 p.m. | The Blue Springs School District will require all students, faculty and staff to wear masks as a precaution when school begins, according to a post on the district's Facebook page.
6 p.m. | Visitors can still be spotted walking around the Country Club Plaza, but there are fewer places open for the shoppers to browse with more empty storefronts during the COVID-19 pandemic.
That lack of consumer confidence has hit major shopping centers such as the Plaza particularly hard and there's no end in sight for the pandemic without a widely available vaccine.
5:30 p.m. | Five more Missouri Job Centers reopened this week in Arnold, Kirksville, Sedalia and Florissant. The Nevada Job Center also opened by appointment only, according to the Missouri Department of Higher Education and Workforce Development.
Social distancing and other health guidelines will be implemented. Job seekers also can access services by phone at 1-888-728-5627 or online at jobs.mo.gov.
5:10 p.m. | Lexington Schools says it will follow Lafayette County guidance in postponing the school start date until Sept. 14. The district also will postpone fall sports after the health department said it would be "impossible to safely conduct these activities using COVID-19 prevention recommendations."
Under the health department guidance, trends will be analyzed in mid-October "to determine if our rates are low enough to safely resume sporting activities," the district said.
4:50 p.m. | Following news Thursday afternoon that the SEC will delay the start of its football schedule until late September and even then limit the schedule to in-conference games only, University of Missouri Athletic Director Jim Sterk met with reporters about the changes to Mizzou.
Sterk said the team's Nov. 28 game against the Arkansas Razorbacks, originally scheduled to be played at Arrowhead Stadium, will "likely" be played in Columbia instead.
4 p.m. | Missouri reported 1,712 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday, a record for the most new cases in a single day. The new cases bring the statewide total to 49,364.
Missouri has reported at least 1,189 cases for nine of the last 10 days. The state also reported 17 additional deaths on Thursday.
The seven-county Kansas City metro reported 523 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday and eight additional deaths, according to data kept by 41 Action News.
3:40 p.m. | Missouri and the rest of the SEC will play a conference-only schedule beginning Sept. 26, the conference announced Thursday.
2 p.m. | Kansas City Symphony musicians will have their salaries reduced 19% for the 2020-21 season, part of a special agreement reached in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
When the orchestra returns to ticketed performances at the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, their salaries will increase, bringing them to 8% below normal amounts, the symphony said in a news release.
Eight vacant positions will go unfilled for the season. The symphony also has reduced administrative staff and salaries for other positions. Altogether, the changes represent a 25% reduction in expenses.
“It became very clear to the musicians, management and board that we needed a different approach to the upcoming season,” Symphony Executive Director Danny Beckley said in the release. “This new agreement helps provide for the safety of our musicians, staff and patrons, and also will reduce our operating expenses in accordance with the reduction in ticket revenue brought about by the pandemic.”
1 p.m. | Data from local health departments show Johnson and Wyandotte counties each reported two additional COVID-19 deaths on Thursday. Leavenworth County reported its eighth death on Thursday, while Douglas County reported its third death.
Kansas does not release official statewide data on case numbers or deaths on Thursdays.
12:30 p.m. | Missouri Gov. Mike Parson met with Kansas City-area school leaders Thursday about their reopening plans for the fall semester.
The governor said officials will continue to monitor case numbers as the start of the school year approaches.
11 a.m. | Former GOP presidential candidate Herman Cain has died after being hospitalized with the coronavirus. He was 74.
10:40 a.m. | Thursday marks exactly six months since the World Health Organization declared a global health crisis connected with the disease that was then simply known as the novel coronavirus.
At the time, the outbreak was mainly concentrated in China, as the country had confirmed 7,711 cases of the virus and 170 deaths linked to the disease.
Half a year later, the virus has infected 17 million people on every continent and killed more than 600,000 worldwide.
10:30 a.m. | Hallmark expects to lay off more than 100 employees, including about 90 from its Kansas City, Missouri, headquarters. In a statement, the company cited changing business strategies made "even more urgent now that COVID-19 has introduced more shoppers to digital and e-commerce solutions."
9:20 a.m. | The Kansas State Finance Council (SFC) unanimously approved the public health, education and economic development proposals recommended by the Executive Committee of the Strengthening People and Revitalizing Kansas (SPARK) Taskforce on Thursday for a total of $254,444,911. The money will go toward aiding economic recovery from COVID-19.
8:42 a.m. | University of Kansas Health System officials gave their daily COVID-19 update.
7:40 a.m. | New reports show 1.4 million Americans filed for unemployment last week, another slight increase over previous weeks.
6 a.m. | Shawnee Mission School District parents have until Aug. 5 to choose how their students will attend classes for the fall semester. Students can be placed in online or in-person options. The in-person option will flow between online, hybrid and in-classroom models as COVID-19 case numbers dictate.
5:30 a.m. | According to the Associated Press, U.S. energy consumption plummeted to its lowest level in more than 30 years this spring as the nation’s economy largely shut down because of the coronavirus, federal officials reported Wednesday.
The drop was driven by less demand for coal that is burned for electricity and oil that’s refined into gasoline and jet fuel, the U.S. Energy Information Administration said.
The declines were in line with lower energy usage around the globe as the pandemic seized up economies.
5 a.m. | The City of Roeland Park announced it will provide 10,000 masks to people who need them starting Thursday, July 30. The city says it's an effort to support Gov. Laura Kelly's statewide mask order.
The masks will be provided to businesses around the city to give to customers who need them as they enter the business.
Some of these businesses include CVS pharmacy, Walmart and Walgreens among others.
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