(PLATTSBURG, Mo.) Parts of rural Northwest Missouri are starting to feel the effects of Covid-19, so says Blair Shock, the director of the Clinton County Health Department.
"In about mid-August we started to see an increase," Shock said. "Then in the last two or three weeks, we’ve seen an incredible increase in the number of cases."
Shock said he is concerned about rural hospital capacity over the next few months as flu season appoaches amidst the pandemic,
"Not every county has a hospital," He said. "The ones that do have limited bed capacity and higher acuity care."
In Clinton County, the health department reported 354 cases of Covid-19, 68 of which are active according to the health department. In addition, 22 hospitalizations were reported. Three deaths were reported in the county in the last week.
While Shock said the virus is spreading within long term care facilities in the county, it’s not exclusive to those places or people within their age groups.
Shock said a large majority of cases involve people 55 years of age and older, he stresses the importance of everyone taking the virus seriously to protect the vulnerable, control the spread and prevent deaths.
"An illness doesn’t care about your politics," Shock said. "Anybody's susceptible and this is us as a society having to deal with it."
Shock added that the pandemic is already having an affect on rural hospitals in the northwest Missouri area as a whole whether patients have Covd-19 or not.