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Region H health departments issue Public Health Advisory

Region H public health departments are issuing a Public Health Advisory in response to rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across northwest Missouri related to the emergence of the delta variant.

Posted: Jul 20, 2021 10:25 AM
Updated: Jul 21, 2021 10:29 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) Region H public health departments are issuing a Public Health Advisory in response to rapidly increasing COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations across northwest Missouri related to the emergence of the delta variant.

At this time, unvaccinated residents of all ages who have resumed normal activities without adequate protection are most at risk, particularly immune-compromised individuals.

COVID-19 vaccines have been proven to significantly reduce the risk of serious illness, hospitalization and death.

The region’s public health departments strongly recommend residents take the following precautions to protect themselves and others in their community:

-Get fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

  • Anyone 12 and older should seek vaccination immediately.
  • Help protect children younger than 12 by ensuring those around them who are eligible are vaccinated.
  • Individuals who have initiated 2-dose vaccination should get their second dose to ensure maximum protection against all COVID-19 strains, including delta.
  • Talk with friends and family about the importance of getting vaccinated.
  • If you have specific concerns about whether you should get the vaccine, consult your physician.

-Unvaccinated individuals should wear a mask while visiting indoor public places, in crowded outdoor settings, and for activities in close contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.

  • People with underlying medical conditions may not be able to receive full protection from the vaccine and children younger than 12 are not yet eligible for vaccination. These populations are vulnerable to being exposed to COVID-19.

-Both vaccinated and unvaccinated residents should exercise caution.

  • Currently, 40% of Missourians and 25% of those in Region H are fully vaccinated. In northwest Missouri, assume 3 of every 4 people in any crowd or gathering could be unvaccinated. If you do not know the vaccination status of those around you, resume social distancing of at least 6 feet and wear a mask.
  • If unvaccinated, being in crowds like restaurants, bars, fitness centers, or movie theaters puts you at a higher risk for COVID-19. Avoid indoor spaces that do not offer fresh air from the outdoors as much as possible.
  • Additionally, continue practicing good hand hygiene by washing your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds.

-Stay home if you are sick.

  • Seek testing if you develop or have any symptoms of COVID-19, including mild symptoms similar to a cold or allergies.

-Individuals with underlying medical conditions should get fully vaccinated as soon as possible and wear masks when around persons of unknown vaccination status.

  • The following conditions are associated with increased risk of death from COVID-19: Age above 65, organ transplant recipient, cancer, diabetes, obesity, chronic heart/lung/kidney/neurologic conditions, rheumatologic conditions such as Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis, use of immunosuppressive medications, AIDS, and other immunosuppressive conditions or neurological diseases.
  • Having more than one of these conditions may significantly increase the risk of hospitalization or death. For more information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website.

To find information about vaccination locations and updated guidance, please visit your local health department website or social media page(s). The following regional public health departments have partnered to endorse this message.

Andrew County Health Department

(816) 324-3139

Andrew Hoffman, Administrator

Atchison County Health Department

(660) 736-4121

Julie Livengood, RD, LD, Administrator

City of St. Joseph Health Department

(816) 271-4636

Debra Bradley, Health Director

Caldwell County Health Department

(816) 586-2311

Tracy Carmen, BSN, RN, Administrator

Daviess County Health Department

(660) 663-2414

RaCail King, RN, Administrator

Tri-County Health Department (DeKalb/Gentry/Worth)

(660) 783-2707

Teresa McDonald, RN, Administrator

Grundy County Health Department

(660) 359-4196

Elizabeth Gibson, Administrator

Harrison County Health Department

(660) 425-6324

Courtney Cross, Administrator

Holt County Health Department

(660) 446-2909

Krissy Prussman, Administrator

Livingston County Health Center

Sherry Weldon, RN, Administrator

Mercer County Health Department

(660) 748-3630

Gina Finney, Administrator

Nodaway County Health Center

(660) 562-2755

Tom Patterson, Administrator

St. Joseph
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Just a little bit more sunshine today across northwest Missouri and northeast Kansas. The air quality is much better today with the haze starting to clear out of the area. Tonight will be cool and calm with lows in the mid 60s and light winds. There is a slight chance for isolated showers tonight and tomorrow afternoon, although most of the area should stay dry. Dry and sunny conditions continue into the weekend as temperatures start to warm up again. Highs look to stay in the 80s until midweek and then start to climb into the 90s as we head into the weekend.
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