JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — More people in Missouri died in 2020 than were born, a rarity that was due in part to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a provisional report from the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services says the “natural decrease” was the first for a complete year in 110 years.

A natural increase or decrease in population is determined by subtracting the number of deaths from the number of live births.

State data shows there were 4,555 more deaths than births in Missouri last year. Deaths in December rose 50% over December 2019 “as the COVID pandemic peaked in mortality," the report says. 

The state health department on Thursday cited 385 newly confirmed cases of the virus, and three new deaths. The state has reported 504,454 confirmed cases and 8,821 deaths since the onset of the pandemic. Meanwhile, Gov. Mike Parson on Thursday announced he was pulling back National Guard involvement in COVID-19 vaccinations because demand for the shots was ebbing.

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