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Healthcare providers say they are seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases in the county.
There were 98 in Texas County from July 24-30, the Texas County Health Department reported Monday. Of those cases, five had been vaccinated.
The department said 107 are isolated at home and 10 hospitalized during that period. The death count increased by two to 28, it said.
Cumulative cases since the pandemic began stand at 2,279. Of those, 23 had been vaccinated and only one required hospitalization.
Texas County is among several hotspots in south-central Missouri that are among the worst counties in the United States.
At Texas County Memorial Hospital, administrators reported a busy weekend of positive cases leading into this week. The patient count Monday was at 13.
Chris Strickland, the hospital’s CEO, told the Houston City Council on Monday night that the Delta variant running through the county poses a high risk for infection among primarily an unvaccinated population. He told the council one of the problems for the most serious cases is finding another hospital that has beds available for treatment. And that also poses issues for patients with other serious ailments that need a high level of care in a metropolitan setting.
Data shows the virus may peak in this area later this month or into September, he said, noting that coincides with the launch of schools. He expressed concern for his employees who he said were overwhelmed with providing patient care. Additional staffing is being sought but difficult to find due to a major deployment of available traveling professionals to Springfield hospitals.
The chaplains association at the hospital also released a statement this week: “The Texas County Memorial Hospital Chaplain’s Association supports the efforts of TCMH to combat COVID-19, including the usage of vaccinations to prevent the further spread of this deadly virus.” A statewide effort is under way to reach the faith community’s unvaccinated population.
Only about 22 percent of the population in the county has been vaccinated; 27.4 has started the process, according to data released Tuesday. In the last week, 408 vaccinations have been given in the county.