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COVID-19 Update | June 22, 2021



COVID-19 Update


  • COVID-19
  • Disease Management


coronavirus COVID-19

This report from the Missouri Hospital Association is designed to help you stay abreast of recent developments related to COVID-19.

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Dashboard Spotlight

Delta Variant Driving Hospitalization Surge In Southwest Missouri

Staff Contact: Mat Reidhead or Jackie Gatz

“The highly contagious delta variant is the fastest and fittest coronavirus strain yet, and it will ‘pick off’ the most vulnerable people, especially in places with low COVID-19 vaccination rates.” — World Health Organization

Last week, MHA called attention to the presence of the highly transmissible and virulent Delta variant of the novel SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus in the Springfield area, in addition to an emerging, yet alarming uptick of cases in Greene County, a densely populated area with heavy summer tourism travel. Following a week of national media coverage of the Delta variant in Southwest Missouri, hospitalizations in the region currently are at levels and on a similar trajectory to those seen in October 2020 amid the lead-up to the prolonged peak surge the state experienced last winter. Since May 1, the number of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations in the Southwest Region have increased from 111 to 265 on June 18, a 114% relative increase as a rate of the population. By contrast, during the same period, the remainder of the state has seen COVID-19 hospitalizations fall from 687 to 482, a 26% relative decrease as a rate of the population.

The Southwest Region houses the state’s most vaccine-hesitant populations, resulting in the region also being home to some of the state’s least vaccinated counties. Importantly, early research shows the vaccines to be extremely effective in preventing the Delta variant, and associated severe illness and death. The first dose of the Pfizer vaccine offers 36% protection from Delta, while the second dose boosts protection from symptomatic COVID-19 to 88% while offering 96% protection against severe illness requiring hospitalization.

With the rate of cases, hospitalizations and deaths receding dramatically across the state since the vaccination campaign began on Dec. 14, 2020, it is more important now than ever to prevent the new variants from “picking off” our friends and loved ones in the dim light near the end of this tunnel. If you are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19, please become so immediately, particularly if you live in areas of the state where Delta currently is circulating. For help locating a vaccine near you, visit the state’s Vaccine Navigator, or contact your local public health department or health care provider.

Delta Variant Driving Hospitalization Surge In Southwest Missouri


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