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Central Missouri Newspapers Inc. is offering this article free to all readers because it includes information important to public safety and health in our community.

An outbreak of new active coronavirus cases among incarcerated individuals at Tipton Correctional Center was confirmed by the Moniteau County Health Center in its COVID-19 case update for Thursday.

The Health Center stated that 17 of the 21 new cases reported Thursday in Moniteau County are offenders in the county's correctional center.

The data provided by the Health Center now include a "total number of cases residing in congregate living" figure, which accounts for the current outbreak at Tipton Correctional Center and past cases at long-term care facilities in Moniteau County, such as Valley Park West Retirement Home, where COVID-19 cases were reported in April. In total, the number of cases in this category since the start of the pandemic is 32.

There are currently 25 active cases of COVID-19 at Tipton Correctional Center — one staff member and 24 offenders — according to COVID-19 data provided by the Missouri Department of Corrections. The facility has also seen four offenders recover from the coronavirus since March.

There were three active cases among staff at Jefferson City Correctional Center as of Thursday, according to the DOC.

As of 5 p.m. Thursday, Moniteau County's active case count is at 38, its highest since Aug. 17. More than 250 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the county since the start of the pandemic.

Moniteau County remains in the top three of 13 Mid-Missouri counties in highest total cases per capita, behind Howard and Boone counties.

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