17 deaths reported in Springfield area during COVID-19 surge

An additional 17 inhabitants of southwestern Missouri died of COVID-19 during the latest reporting period in Greene County. The region is experiencing a surge in cases and a lack of medical equipment needed to treat severe illnesses.

On Tuesday, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department reported that deaths were the highest in a single reporting period since January. From June 21st to July 4th, all deaths occurred in June, according to health officials.

The age of the dead was in their 40s and 90s. According to the Department of Health, no one was vaccinated.

“This should be of great concern to our community, especially because the highly contagious Delta variant has infected many people and continues to be hospitalized,” Katie Towns, Deputy Director of Health, said Tuesday. It is stated in. “It is our responsibility to protect ourselves and our loved ones from this deadly virus by being vaccinated.”

With the emergence of a deadly variant of COVID-19 within the Missouri border, there was a new call for vaccination.The· Delta variantThe main driver of new cases in the state is one strain of the virus that is thought to cause more serious illness and a higher risk of death.

Health officials say that people who are currently ill are rarely vaccinated and hospitalization deaths and surges are preventable. Elected officials, including Governor Mike Parson, also publicly warned against the recurrence of the virus and encouraged people to be vaccinated.

“Conclusions people need to know: The virus is still here and will continue to be here,” Parson said last week. “It won’t go away.”

Missouri has reported 528,802 cases, including 9,340 deaths, since the outbreak of the pandemic. The state administers 4,992,721 vaccines, with 44.8% of the population starting vaccination.

Greene County news came out after Mercy Springfield Hospital experienced a shortage of ventilators used to treat patients with severe respiratory problems on the weekend of July 4.

On Monday, health officials there said more ventilators had arrived and a second COVID-19 ICU unit had been opened. By Tuesday Cox Health CEO Steve Edwards posted “call to arms” Ask a respiratory therapist to help handle the patient’s burden.

Metropolitan area of ​​Kansas City Added nearly 800 COVID-19 cases In the past week, the moving average has risen to 112, surpassing 100 for the first time since late May. According to data managed by The Star, the average one week ago was 83 and two weeks ago it was 63.

Stars Lisa Gutierrez and Katie Moore contributed to this report.

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