Springfield health leaders discuss rising COVID-19 cases, importance of vaccinations

Local News
Rev Steve Heather KOLR

SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- The Springfield-Greene County Health Department will be discussing a rise in COVID-19 cases in Greene County and the importance of vaccinating everyone 12 and older.

The briefing was held at the Discovery Center in downtown Springfield.

During the briefing, Health Department Director Katie Towns says 62% of Greene County is unvaccinated and there are 76 patients in Springfield hospitals.

Towns says those who are vaccinated can still spread the disease. She encourages anyone who is showing symptoms to still get tested even if vaccinated.

“Natural immunity is not something that’s a sure bet,” said Towns. “This is a sure bet that you’re going to have resistance against the virus and variants.”

Some stats from the Health Department:

  • The seven day average of cases is 62 per day
  • 76 patients in Greene County hospitals
  • Nearly 38% of the population is fully vaccinated

Earlier this afternoon, Dr. Robin Trotman with CoxHealth said patients being admitted with COVID-19 are becoming younger and younger, but the reason for it is still unclear.  

“Our community really has to know that the demographic is shifting and while I used to tell people, ‘You’re young and healthy and seemingly not going to suffer severe illness,’ I can’t say that anymore and I can’t predict who’s going to become critically ill,” said Doctor Trotman.

As of today, CoxHealth reports 48 COVID-19 patients in the hospital. Trotman says he can no longer be sure if the increase is caused by less concern for the virus or a new variant, or another factor. He says the main thing in common with all 48 patients is that they are unvaccinated.

Trotman says this pandemic has now offered two options for our community members – either you get vaccinated, or you get infected.  

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