Covid cases increase here, following statewide trend
The Ozark County Health Department reported Monday on its Facebook page that Ozark County has a vaccination rate of about 33 percent, following its statement that, “Sadly, we are beginning to see an increase in Covid-19.”
Rates and numbers vary widely with various reporting methods and sources. The state’s covid dashboard (covidvaccine.mo.gov) on Monday showed Ozark County with a 17.7 percent rate of complete vaccination.
The county’s increase in active covid cases (22 new cases in the last week, according to OCHD) follows Missouri’s current statewide trend of high rates of community transmission levels in more than 80 of its 114 counties. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported on its own dashboard Monday that Missouri is one of the top four states in the nation in numbers of active covid cases reported in the last seven days. The other states with the highest numbers of active covid cases are Arizona, Texas and Florida.
Statewide, 39.7 percent of Missourians are fully vaccinated with either the two-shot Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, the state’s covid dashboard shows. The site also says 45.3 percent of Missourians have initiated vaccination.
In comparison, Vermont was reported by the New York Times Monday to have the highest vaccination rate (76.7 percent).
OCHD continues to offer the Moderna two-shot vaccine. Vaccination clinics for those age 18 and older are held at OCHD, on Third Street in Gainesville, every other Thursday. Upcoming clinics are scheduled for July 15 and 29; Aug. 12 and 26; and Sept. 9 and 23. To schedule an appointment, call OCHD at 417-679-3334; OCHD administrator Rhonda Suter said walk-ins will also be given the vaccine, if possible.
In its Monday night post, OCHD noted that “the Covid-19 vaccine does not mean that you do not need to be careful” and, “You can still get the virus even though you are fully vaccinated.”
However, Missouri’s covid dashboard says, “Although a high percentage of people recover from COVID-19, some are hospitalized and experience severe illness. It is also somewhat common to have the virus but never experience symptoms, and it is possible to spread the virus to others even when symptoms are not present. When you make the choice to be vaccinated, you are protecting not only you but also those around you from the chance of death and severe illness caused by COVID-19.”
The OCHD, in its post, listed these covid guidelines:
• If you are sick, please stay home.
• If you have been in close contact to a positive case and it has been more than two weeks since you completed your vaccine doses, you are not required to quarantine, but you should monitor for symptoms for 14 days, and if you become sick, get tested.
• Avoid large crowded areas.
• Wear a mask if you are not able to social distance.
Signs and symptoms of covid include fever, chills, runny nose, sore throat, headache, muscle aches, fatigue, loss or changes in smell or taste, a new or worsening cough, wheezing, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, chest pain, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and diarrhea.
For more information about covid vaccinations and testing, call OCHD.
Theodosia Family Medical Clinic in Theodosia is offering the one-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine by appointment only. (Call 417-273-2300 for more information.)
The Times was unable to confirm before press time Tuesday the availability of the vaccine at Ozark County’s two other medical clinics, the Ozarks Healthcare clinic in Gainesville (417-679-4613) and the Missouri Ozarks Community Health clinic in Gainesville (417-679-2775).