Health

Health officials express concern over rising COVID cases in Buchanan County

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BY TOMMY REZAC

St. Joseph Post

Buchanan County has continued to see a surge in COVID-19 cases recently.

The St. Joseph Health Department reported 90 new cases in the county last week – nearly three times the 33 cases reported the previous week.

Of the 90 new cases, 66 were reported in people aged 49 years or younger. Individuals between the ages of 20 and 29 made up 24 of these new cases.

“It’s everyone’s guess,” said Stephanie Malita, spokeswoman for the St. Joseph Health Department, about why the younger population is seeing more cases. “Why this age range is currently more affected by new positive cases.”

Only one new case was reported over the weekend, but 14 new cases were reported on Monday.

The county’s positivity rate has also increased to 4.22 percent. That’s an increase of 2.81 percent over the past week.

St. Joseph Health Department spokeswoman Stephanie Malita hopes a mass vaccination clinic in the Civic Arena on Tuesday can help reduce these case numbers again.

“It’s open to everyone,” Malita said of the clinic. “Anyone 18 years or older living in Missouri. We would like to welcome you to our clinic. The vaccine is free, free for you, and we try to make it as convenient as possible. “

People can still sign up for a vaccine by clicking this link or by calling the St. Joseph Health Department at 816-271-4636. Appointments are preferred, but walk-ins are accepted from 9 am to 11 am on Tuesdays.

The department also added a May 11 clinic – also in the Civic Arena. There are 100 doses of the Moderna vaccine available for each clinic.

Government identification and proof of health insurance are not required to receive the vaccine. A second dose clinic is planned for Thursday June 3rd at the same location.

While the COVID-19 vaccine is available at pharmacies across St. Joseph, the Department of Health is offering more citizens a new way to get the vaccine as the Mosaic Community Clinic in the East Hills Shopping Center stops giving the first doses of the due shot to falling demand.

“In the meantime, some of the urgency has subsided,” Malita said of the vaccination rate. “People are not signed up to take these recordings as if they were at one point.”

The vaccination rate in Buchanan County remains low. 18.8 percent of residents start vaccinating, and only 15.3 percent of the population complete vaccination.

Malita says the downtown location of this mass vaccination clinic on Tuesday could be more convenient for those who live and work in the area and are still looking for a vaccine.

She adds that the department has access to more than enough doses of vaccine to hold several more clinics over the summer if necessary.

“We are ready to do a week in early summer if we have the demand,” said Malita. “We hope that we will see a good response and that people will register and get vaccinated. When we have that, we’ll add more dates. “

You can follow Tommy on Twitter @TommyKFEQ and St. Joseph Post @StJosephPost.

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