As of Friday, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services reported that there have been more than 26,000 new coronavirus cases in the past week, or about 3,700 new cases daily on average. Another 75 deaths have been reported.
For context, Gov. Mike Parson said more new cases were reported in October than during the first eight months of the pandemic in Missouri, and new cases in November have already surpassed October.
The number of hospitalized coronavirus patients also is up, and hospitals have warned that they're struggling to maintain adequate staffing to cope with the surge in cases.
Parson has so far refused to require masks statewide. He said he doesn't oppose the use of face masks but said it should be left to local governments to decide whether to enact mandates.
Parson has instead stressed personal responsibility and asked people to wear masks, social distance and wash their hands often, especially in light of upcoming holidays.
“It's all up to us, not government, but it's up to me and you to change the way we do Thanksgivings,” Parson said.