The prevalence of Covid-19 is rampant in Missouri as the threat from the Delta variant grows in places where vaccine hesitation is high.
Parts of southern Missouri register about 60 cases per year. 100,000 inhabitants a day. By comparison, New York City, a major outbreak zone at the start of the pandemic, averages about 2.6 cases each day. 100,000 inhabitants, according to data collected by New York Times.
The Delta variant is considered to be a more lethal and about 50 percent more contagious strain of Covid-19. Previous infection appears to provide little protection against this version of the virus.
And only 39 percent of Missouri residents have been fully vaccinated. In the counties of Camden and Miller ̵
The Missouri Department of Health has stated that three counties near the Lake of the Ozarks are Covid-19 hot spots. The tourist destination hosted a gathering early last summer that was notorious for its blatant violations of Covid-19 safety guidelines.
Springfield Fire Chief David Pennington tweeted Thursday: “This is a mass event happening in slow motion. EMS resources are depleted and hospital systems are overwhelmed. Our society is in crisis. ”
Approximately 58 percent of American adults are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 overall. Compared to other countries, it is a high number, but it is still far from the between 70 and 90 percent that some researchers believe are necessary to achieve herd immunity.
Across the United States, the number of Covid-19 cases is stable, but these numbers hide two increasingly separate America, where cases continue to plummet in urban and suburban areas, but rise in more rural and less populated areas, such as Missouri, tending more conservative, and where people are more reluctant to be vaccinated.
The director of the CDC, dr. Rachel Walensky, said at a recent press conference that “preliminary data from several states in the last few months indicate that 99.5 percent of Covid-19 deaths in the United States were in unvaccinated people”.
According to the latest poll from the Kaiser Family Foundation, 72 percent of adult urban residents have received at least one dose – while the same goes for only 54 percent of adults living in more rural areas.
A spokesman for Lake Regional Health told The Daily Beast: “We are already stretched to our utmost.”
“To be completely blunt – We need you to be vaccinated now. If you have not already done so, roll up your sleeve. Do it to protect yourself, your family and this community, ”the spokesman added.
“Right now at Lake Regional, we’re seen over the last few weeks a very stable and increasing number of hospital admissions that our patients are suffering from, you know, from the Covid virus,” said Dane Henry, CEO of Lake Regional Health. Systems, told KY3.
“For approx. two months ago we had between one to two, maybe three or four patients a day, and over the last six or seven weeks that has steadily risen to the point now that on Sundays we have hovered in the high 20s and make the 30s, ”he added.
Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior researcher at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told The Daily Beast that “all of this is completely preventable. I don’t think it could ever get as bad as it was last year, but things are likely to get worse with the Delta variant before it gets better. We will see a higher increase in places that have lower vaccination rates, such as Missouri. The higher the vaccination rate, the lower the number ”.
But many residents and visitors to the area are indifferent, and some health officials believe it is possible that some Trump supporters refuse to get the shots to prevent the Biden administration from achieving its vaccination goals.
“There is a part of me when I think through this – there are people who still return to the election result and say: ‘You know what, the current administration set a goal, so we will do our part to ensure they do not hit their goal? ‘”Said Craig McCoy, president of Mercy Springfield Communities Bloomberg.