SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The Springfield-Greene County Health Department and hospital leaders say they’re concerned about rising COVID-19 cases in the area. According to Springfield-Greene County Health Director Katie Towns, there have been 473 new COVID-19 cases reported in Greene County.
“This is the highest number reported in a single day in Greene County since the end of the year 2020,” said Towns. In the past week, Greene County has seen a 71% increase in new COVID-19 cases.
“We are seeing the beginning of what will be the worst surge yet,” said Towns. “There will be a significant and aggressive spread of this disease.” Towns stated in just a few short weeks every part of our community could be impacted. From the health care system to school to the workplace.
Towns says COVID-19 cases could increase up to 1,000 per day with this new surge.
While officials say just two cases of the Omicron variant have been confirmed in Greene County, hospitals say the patients they’re seeing and the way the virus is spreading shows Omicron likely already has a strong presence in our community. The health department says the data to prove that lags behind several weeks.
Towns shared the health department can no longer keep up with contact tracing, saying, “This virus is going to spread quicker than our capability to investigate this disease. It’s already begun and we’re going to see these numbers rise over the next several weeks.” She encouraged anyone who tests positive to take responsibility and reach out to close contacts. The Springfield-Greene County Health Department has an online tool to help you determine if you need a test or to isolate.
CoxHealth is nearly at capacity and has a total of 124 COVID-19 patients hospitalized. Just 5% of people vaccinated are hospitalized at CoxHealth. Mercy currently has 114 patients admitted with COVID-19. “98 of those are in Springfield,” said Craig McCoy with Mercy. “Of the 21 in ICU, 15 are on ventilators.”
The Health Department is urging those who have not received a vaccine or booster to do so soon. To see what vaccine opportunities are available click here. Towns says people who have a booster dose have a much higher chance of seeing no symptoms from COVID-19.