Updated at 3:30 p.m. with more details

ST. LOUIS — For the fourth time this month, Missouri reported the largest single-day increase in new COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic. 

Missouri on Saturday reported 958 new confirmed COVID-19 cases, topping the previous single-day record of 936 cases set Tuesday. 

The numbers reported Saturday mark the fourth time the state’s record for daily COVID-19 cases has leaped upward since June 25, when the record for the most new cases over a single day was 553. 

As of Saturday, the seven-day average of new cases reported by the state is 731, up from 547 a week ago.

Officials earlier this week have attributed the increases in COVId-19 cases to outbreaks in urban areas and outlying suburban counties, rising infections among young people ages 10 through 30, as well as increased testing. 

The seven-day average percentage of positive COVID-19 test results, compared to the total number of test results reported, was 6.8% Saturday, up from 6.2% a week ago and up from 3.6% on May 30. 

A total 32,248 people in Missouri have tested positive for COVID-19, up from 31,290 on Friday. 

Missouri also reported nine deaths due to COVID-19 on Saturday, raising the total number of people how have died of the disease in the state to 1,130.

Hospitalizations decline

Meanwhile, the number of people being newly admitted to St. Louis area hospitals for treatment of COVID-19 symptoms dropped slightly, according to the St. Louis Metropolitan Task Force. The dip comes after hospitalization rates climbed in recent weeks to levels not seen since May.  

The seven-day average of hospital admissions decreased from 34 reported Friday to 33 Saturday, according to the task force. Twenty-nine people were newly admitted to hospitals for COVID-19 on Saturday, down from 36 people Friday.

However, the number of people who remain hospitalized for treatment rose slightly, according to the task force.

The seven-day average of hospitalizations for COVID-19 positive of patients increased from 201 Friday to 208 Saturday. 

At least 255 people with confirmed COVID-19 infections remain hospitalized, with 56 of them in intensive care units, 25 patients on ventilators. Another 131 people were hospitalized for suspected COVID-19 infections, with 11 of those patients in intensive care units and five on ventilators.

Thirty-seven COVID-19 hospital patients were released in improved health Saturday, bringing the total number of people who recovered from COVID-19 at task force hospitals to 3,374.

Illinois

Illinois on Saturday reported 1,276 new COVID-19 cases, continuing a steady increase in the virus’ spread in the state since June.

As of Saturday, the seven-day average for new COVID-19 cases was 1,092, up from 795 on July 9. The average peaked at 2,565 in early May, and decreased steadily to 596, it’s lowest point, on June 18. The average has since steadily increased. 

Illinois on Saturday reported 18 deaths in the state due to COVID-19, bringing the total number of deaths due to confirmed COVID-19 infections there to 7,290. At least 193 people died of complications that were likely due to COVID-19, officials say. 

A total 160,610 people have tested positive for COVID-19 in Illinois since the start of the pandemic. 

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