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Pettis County Health Center warns of recent COVID surge

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The Pettis County Health Center is warning of a recent surge in COVID-19 cases.

According to a news release, as of July 7, the Health Center has received reports of 90 positive tests taken between July 1 and July 7. During the entire month of June, there were 58 cases.

“This is a significant increase in cases and the trend is continuing upward,” the release states. 

The release states the positivity rate in early June was 1.8% and now it is 15.9% for PCR testing. Bothwell Regional Health Center is also seeing an increase in hospitalized individuals, increasing from three last week to 10 as of Thursday including patients requiring ventilators. The vaccination rate for Pettis County remains below 40%.

The Delta variant has been detected in Pettis County, according to the release. The variant is more easily spread among people and can cause more hospitalizations. The early symptoms for the Delta variant include headache, runny nose and sore throat. Fever and cough tend to arrive later, if at all. Changes in taste and smell are not in the list of the top 10 symptoms. 

“Although some individuals who are fully vaccinated have tested positive, vaccination remains the best opportunity to defeat this virus,” the release states. “Available vaccines are safe and effective. Most people experience only minor symptoms after vaccine. There are multiple opportunities to receive a vaccine for free in the county, including Saturdays.”

Due to the spread of the virus within the county, the following recommendations are provided by the Health Center: 

• Receive both doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or the single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

• Wear a mask when in an indoor public space or a crowded outdoor space. 

• Maintain a distance of 6 feet when in public spaces.

• Stay home if you feel ill, even with minor symptoms.

• Get tested if you feel ill or have been exposed to a positive case.

• If you receive a positive test result, stay home and away from others for 10 days.

• If you live with a person who is positive, stay home for 14 days.

• Ask the vaccination status of those you are socializing with and use caution when socializing with unvaccinated individuals.

Due to the increase in cases, some facilities may need to limit access to the facility to protect residents.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance states vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask but unvaccinated individuals should continue to wear one. However, the release states that the guidance for unvaccinated people is not being followed in Pettis County as very few people are seen in public wearing a mask.

“Pettis County is a community that cares for each other and for our families,” the release states. “We need to work together to continue to protect each other and defeat the COVID virus. No one wants to return to the fall when many people were ill, isolated and quarantined. This is not good for our community.” 

People with questions about the vaccine are encouraged to contact the Health Center or their health care provider. For help finding a vaccine, contact the Health Center at 660-827-1130.

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