JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)
The Jefferson City Council met Monday at 6 p.m. to give a pandemic update, just three days after the state issued a COVID-19 hot spot advisory for Cole County
COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks have increased to 363 in Cole County.
Lisa Cox, spokeswoman for the state health department, said, “When determining where the next hotspot may be, we are looking at a combination of factors including data on case rate increases as well as local insights on potential transmission to identify counties that are or have potential to become hotspots.”
Cox said the state is providing these insights directly to community leaders to help overcome vaccine hesitancy and encourage community members to get vaccinated as the best way to control the spread of the disease. Where we can inform local leaders ahead of anticipated increases, our intent is that the areas won’t become hotspots.
Jefferson City Mayor, Carrie Tergin, said people need to keep in mind ways to decrease exposure such as; stay at home if you’re experiencing symptoms, distance from others outside of your household, wash your hands often, wear a mask if you cannot maintain social distancing and consider boosting your immune system health by increasing your intake of vitamins C, D, and Zinc.
Officials with DHSS report hospitals in the region are seeing resource strain from dramatically increased numbers of COVID-19 patients and hospitalizations with an average of 178+ people hospitalized in the region in the last seven days. As a result, several hospitals in the region are at or near capacity.
Chezney Schulte with the Cole County Health Department said this upward trend in cases was noticed during the last week of June and remained consistent throughout July.
According to the county dashboard update, there have been 134 new cases Monday, bringing the total to 9,353 resident cases. Of the cases reported, the total number of breakthrough infections to date is 284.
Tergin said, “Do not think that the vaccine has failed the individuals who have tested positive for Covid-19 after being fully vaccinated. The purpose of the current vaccine is to decrease the severity of symptoms, and decrease the risk of hospitalization.”
Tergin added that by getting vaccinated, it will help local hospitals that are seeing higher volumes of Covid patients. On Monday, Capital Region Medical Center reported 27 Covid patients and St. Mary’s reported 15.
The county has reported 126 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic started.
Cole County ranks sixth in the state for counties with the most coronavirus cases per capita in the past week. The county has a 19.8% positive test rate, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.
The Missouri coronavirus vaccine dashboard reports about 39.3% of the county’s population have been fully vaccinated.
Schulte said education of the vaccine needs to continue throughout the county, as well as efforts to make vaccines and tests easily accessible for everyone. At this point, she said there is no discussion to return to mask mandates, but they are encouraged for everyone to align with CDC guidance.
“We’ve made it very easy to get a vaccine in Cole County. Many places are offering them at different pharmacies, talk to your doctor or your physician if you have any questions about it,” said Tergin.
Check back for more on this developing story or watch ABC 17 News at 10 p.m.
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