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Springfield-Greene County warns new COVID-19 variant dangerous for unvaccinated

Katie Towns/Springfield-Greene County Health Dept.
Katie Towns/Springfield-Greene County Health Dept.(KY3)
Published: Jun. 22, 2021 at 4:40 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - The highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant is taking a toll on the Ozarks community, especially among younger adults who are not fully vaccinated.

Cases of the Delta variant have skyrocketed in the past three weeks and have accounted for 93% of cases tested for variants. During a media availability on Tuesday, Acting Director of Health Katie Towns provided insight on the dangers the Delta variant poses to individuals who are not vaccinated.

“For more than a year, many people have chosen to not take this disease seriously simply because they believed that those who were suffering the most were older or already suffering from other illnesses and underlying health conditions. The Delta variant is proving these assumptions wrong,” said Towns. “It is a threat to people of all ages. We have heard from our hospital partners that more and more younger people are being hospitalized and put on ventilators.”

Kendra Findley, Administrator of Community Health & Epidemiology, also mentioned a Scottish study published in The Lancet that found the Delta variant doubles the risk for hospitalizations.

“In mid-May, 34 people were hospitalized. As of Monday, we had 155 cases hospitalized. That is the highest it’s been since January. The Delta variant is quickly becoming the dominant variant in our area,” stated Findley.

On Monday, 119 new confirmed cases of COVID-19 were reported to the Health Department, bringing our seven-day average to 94 cases per day. This represents a 27% increase in cases over the past seven days and the highest seven-day average since January 28. As of Tuesday morning,153 individuals were being treated for COVID-19 at Greene County hospitals. From June 7-20, two COVID-19 fatalities were reported to the Health Department, including a man in his 30s.

Over the last two weeks, cases in all age groups rose significantly compared to the previous two weeks. Cases more than doubled in the 31-40 age group (see chart below).

The Health Department is working hard to make the COVID-19 vaccine easily accessible for everyone, including the younger residents of our community. Those still needing a vaccine can visit vaccine417.com or call the Springfield-Greene County Health Department’s COVID-19 Call Center at (417) 874-1211 for a list of available opportunities.

Number of Greene County residents fully vaccinated (as of June 22)

  • 95,109 Greene County residents 12 and older have been fully vaccinated (or 37.7%)
    As of June 7, individuals 12-15 years old are included in this percentage
  • According to the CDC, 53% of Americans 12+ have been fully vaccinated. This compares to 38% in Greene County.

Cases by vaccination status (among cases where the vaccination status is known)

  • So far for the month of June, 89% of positive cases have not been fully vaccinated

For the reporting period from June 7-20, 2021:

COVID-19 deaths

  • Two deaths (man in his 30s, man in his 50s)

Number of new COVID-19 cases

  • 1,171 cases (up from 549 two weeks ago)

7-day rolling average of new COVID-19 cases

  • 94 (up from 44 two weeks ago)

Hospitalizations

  • 153 hospitalizations
  • 60 are Greene County residents

The most common known exposure source in the last two weeks was household spread, accounting for 46% of all cases where an exposure source was identified.

To report a correction or typo, please email digitalnews@ky3.com

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