County has lowest COVID vaccination rate in region

    COVID cases continue to decline in Crawford County but, as vaccines become available, fewer residents are receiving doses than surrounding counties.
The state COVID website reports only an estimated 5.9 percent of Crawford County's 23,920 residents have received at least one vaccine dose.

This means that 1,418 first doses have been administered. In total, 1,906 doses have been administered. In comparison, an estimated 17.3 percent of Gasconade County residents have received vaccine, 11.0 percent of Iron County, 10.3 percent of Phelps County, 9.9 of Dent County, 9.3 percent of Franklin County, and 9.2 percent of Washington County.
    Statewide, there were 132,788 vaccine doses administered in the past seven days, compared to 151,243 for the previous week. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses per person.  
    As of February 21, the state website reported a new total of 2,040 confirmed cases to date in Crawford County, adding only 11 new cases to the total in the county. The total death count stayed the same at 29.
    The county’s per capita infection rate as of February 19 was 41.8, down from the previous week’s rate of 66.9. Crawford County remains 30th out of Missouri’s 114 counties in cases per capita.
On Monday, the county’s seven-day positivity rate using the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) method stood at 6.4 percent, consistent with last week’s rate, and continuing for the fourth week below the 10 percent benchmark that is considered high. County residents have now had a total of 14,919 PCR tests conducted and 3,694 antigen tests. There were 172 PCR tests conducted in the past seven days as of February 19, and 71 antigen tests.
Statewide, as of February 19, there had been 2,843 new confirmed cases (those with a positive PCR test) in the previous seven days, down from 4,223 last week. The average dropped from 603 per day last week to 406 this week. Those with a positive antigen test were reported as “probable” cases and that total was 1,579 for the week down from 1,773 the previous week. If a person has both a positive PCR and antigen test, they are only counted as a confirmed case.
    There were 50,253 PCR tests conducted over the week and 33,256 antigen tests. Both of those numbers show a decline from the previous week.
    The state’s PCR positivity rate dropped from 6.7 percent using the CDC method to 6.3 percent. The antigen positivity rate was 4.9 percent, down from 5.0.
    New deaths for the week totaled 16, five more than the previous week’s total of 11. Hospitalizations declined from 1,402 to 1,206 as of February 19. There were 244 patients in the ICU compared to 297 last week, and 165 on ventilators–30 less than last week at this time.
    The Crawford County Health Department (CCHD) no longer reports numbers from its office. The local health department recommends the state-maintained dashboard as the best source of data related to COVID-19.
    Although the state website’s reported information is somewhat delayed, it provides in-depth information and has a team of experts ensuring the best and most accurate data possible is reported. The website can be found at https://showmestrong.mo.gov/public-health/.
    Health officials continue to caution that any public activity should be considered a potential risk, and all precautions need to be taken to protect your own health and the health of those around you.
    Symptoms may appear two to 14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19: Fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea. This list does not include all possible symptoms.
    Anyone who suspects that they have COVID-19 or has been exposed to someone with COVID-19, and are experiencing symptoms, should stay home and isolate from others, especially those at higher risk of severe illness. Call a healthcare provider to let them know before seeking care. It is critical that the provider is aware that a person may have COVID-19 prior to their arrival at a healthcare facility, and that the person follows all instructions for arriving at a healthcare facility.
    The health department asks that anyone who develops symptoms contact their physician, seek testing and isolate at least until test results are known. Potential contacts may call the CCHD office to be screened to determine if monitoring and quarantine are required. CCHD’s office number is 573-775-2555. Please do not contact the health department via Facebook.
    Health officials continue to urge people to follow the steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of getting any viral respiratory infections, including COVID-19. These include:
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Social Distance: Avoid close contact with others, especially people who are sick.
    • Cover mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
    • Clean and disinfect objects and surfaces.
    • Wear a mask or cloth face covering when in public.
    • Stay home when not feeling well; stay home after being tested for COVID-19.    
    CCHD has taken and will continue to take the necessary precautions to keep the community safe and will continue to diligently monitor the COVID-19 situation as it evolves by following the CDC guidelines to protect public health and limit the spread of this infection.
    For general information and questions regarding COVID-19, please call 1-877-435-8411.

Places where you can get vaccinated

            Members of the community are encouraged to pre-register for the vaccine through the following locations:

  • BJC HealthCare (includes Missouri Baptist Sullivan Hospital)—register at www.bjc.org/vaccine. For those without internet or e-mail access, the following phone number can be used as an alternate: 314-273-1252. Due to high demand, wait times on this line can be lengthy so it is recommended to use the website when possible.
  • Crawford County Health Department—call 573-775-2555 press 0 to be connected with an employee.
  • Sink’s Pharmacy, which operates Steelville Drug, Towne Pharmacy in Cuba, and numerous other area locations, has begun administering COVID-19 vaccinations in the area. To sign up for future Sink’s Pharmacy vaccination clinics, visit www.sinkspharmacy.com.
  • Walmart in Cuba, Salem, Potosi, and Rolla—to check availability and schedule an appointment visit www.walmart.com/COVIDvaccine.

            Those who preregister will be contacted when vaccine is available to them.

            Currently the state of Missouri is vaccinating Tiers 1A-1B Tier 2. For more information, including who falls into each tier, please visit: Missouri Department of Public Health: https://covidvaccine.mo.gov/.