The Pettis County Health center issued a press release on Thursday

"As of July 7, 2021 the Health Center has received reports of 90 positive tests which were taken between July 1 and July 7.

During the entire month of June, 2021 there were a total of 58 cases. This is a significant increase in cases and the trend is continuing upward. In early June the positivity rate was 1.8 percent and now is 15.9 percent for PCR testing and there has been a 175 percent increase in cases in the past seven days.

Bothwell Regional Health Center is seeing an increase in hospitalized individuals, increasing from three last week to 10 as of today including patients requiring ventilators. According to news reports, all area hospitals are experiencing an increase in hospitalizations. We need our hospitals to be available as no one knows when hospital care will be needed.

The Delta variant has been detected in Pettis County and there is a strong possibility that the increase in cases is being fueled by the variant. The early symptoms for Delta variant include headache, runny nose and sore throat. Fever and cough tend to arrive later if at all. Change in taste and smell do not make the list of the top 10 symptoms.

The vaccination rate for Pettis County remains below 40 percent. This places a significant number of people in Pettis County at risk for catching and spreading the COVID virus. The variant is more easily spread among people and can cause more hospitalizations.

Due to the increase in cases, some facilities may need to limit access to the facility to protect residents.

Although some individuals who are fully vaccinated have tested positive, vaccination remains the best opportunity to defeat this virus. Available vaccines are safe and effective. Most people experience only minor symptoms after vaccine. There are multiple opportunities to receive a vaccine for free in the county, including Saturdays.

If you need help finding a vaccine, please call the Health Center at (660) 827-1130.
Because of the significant spread of the virus within the county, the following recommendations are provided:

1. Receive both doses of the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine or the single dose of Johnson and Johnson vaccine
2. Wear a mask when in an indoor public space or a crowded out door space. There is no way to know who is fully vaccinated and the virus can spread when people are close to each other.
3. Maintain a distance of 6 feet when in public spaces
4. Stay home if you feel ill, even with minor symptoms
5. Get tested if you feel ill or have been exposed to a positive case
6. If you receive a positive test result – stay home and away from others for 10 days
7. If you live with a person who is positive, stay home for 14 days
8. Ask the vaccination status of those who you are socializing with and use caution when socializing with unvaccinated individuals.

The guidance from CDC regarding fully vaccinated individuals not needing to wear a mask remains in effect. However, the guidance for un vaccinated persons to wear a mask is not being followed in our county as very few people are seen in public wearing a mask.

Pettis County is a community that cares for each other and for our families. We need to work together to continue to protect each other and defeat the COVID virus. No one wants to return to the fall when many people were ill, isolated and quarantined. This is not good for our community.

If you are vaccinated, thank you for showing care for yourself and your family. If you still have questions about the vaccine, please contact the Health Center or discuss your concerns with your health care provider."