SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Springfield-Greene County Health Department held a briefing on Tuesday, June 22, to discuss the recent rise in COVID-19 cases.

Missouri has been seeing a significant increase in COVID-19 and has even gained national attention because of it.

During the briefing, Health Department Director Katie Towns says Greene County is seeing an average of 94 new COVID-19 cases per day. Along with the rise, the state is seeing more severe symptoms. There are currently, 153 people hospitalized, and many younger people who are hospitalized are on a vent.

“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. 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.”

Health Department Director Katie Towns

According to Kendra Findley, Administrator of Community Health and Epidemiology, a Scottish study published on the 14th of this month states the Delta variant doubles your risk of hospitalizations. This also means the treatments are likely less effective.

In the last three weeks three, there has been a major increase in the Delta variant in Missouri. Back in May, the Health Department was seeing 70% of the Delta variant while only 30% of the Alpha variant. Now, the Delta is up to 93% while Alpha has decreased to only 7%. The Health Department suspects that Delta is the cause of the recent increase in hospitalizations.

The Health Department also says the original COVID-19 virus has an infection rate of 2 and Delta is 5 to 8 people.

Two ways to fight Delta:

  1. Vaccine
  2. Natural immunity

According to officials, all three vaccines are effective at reducing the severity and hospitalizations against Delta.