Thirteen new deaths from COVID-19 were reported during the month of September in Crawford County. The total number of confirmed COVID deaths now stands at 56, up from 43 in August, when only two new deaths had been added to the total.
The deaths occurred despite the fact that new confirmed COVID cases for the month of September were down slightly from the previous month. The Missouri state health department website reported 257 additional confirmed cases between August 25 and September 27 in Crawford County. The new total of confirmed cases to date stands at 2,986.
Although there had been a lull between May 31 and June 29, when only 31 new cases had been added to the total, July added 111 more, and August brought in 278 additional new cases.
For the week ending on September 27, there had been 45 new cases reported. As of August 25, there were 59 new cases in the previous week. The week ending July 23 had added 40 new cases, more than the entire month of June.
The total for probable antigen case numbers increased to 479 during the month of September, up from 419 reported on August 25. On July 25, probable antigen cases totaled 342. On June 29, that number had been 331, while the total on May 31 was 314.
The county’s seven-day positivity rate using the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) method was at 12.9 percent as of September 27, a decrease from the 15.1 percent on August 25, but still above the 10 percent benchmark that is considered high. The end of July stood at the highest rate in recent months at 18.1 percent. That number was 4.0 percent on June 29, nearly the same as it was at the end of May, when it was 4.2 percent.
County residents have now had a total of 26,991 PCR tests conducted, compared to 24,203 last month, and 11,918 antigen tests, compared to 10,481.
The percentage of Crawford County residents who’ve completed the vaccine regimen remains low, with less than a third of the population having received the vaccine as of September 29. Just 31.9 percent of Crawford County residents have completed the vaccination process. It is an increase over last month, though. On August 25, only a quarter (25.4 percent) of the population had completed vaccination. At the end of July, that total was at 22.6, on June 29, it was 21.4 percent, and on May 31, it was at 19.3 percent. Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses per person.
Vaccine providers and events in Missouri can be found at MOStopsCovid.com.
The Crawford County Health Department (CCHD) recommends the state-maintained website as the best source of data related to COVID-19 in our state. Although the 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/ and numbers are found under the “View Public Health Data” tab.
CDC urgently recommends vaccination for pregnant women
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have issued a health advisory for pregnant people in order to prevent serious illness, deaths, and adverse pregnancy outcomes from COVID-19.
The advisory was issued on September 29 and recommends urgent action to increase COVID-19 vaccination among people who are pregnant, recently pregnant (including those who are lactating), who are trying to become pregnant now, or who might become pregnant in the future. CDC strongly recommends COVID-19 vaccination either before or during pregnancy because the benefits of vaccination outweigh known or potential risks.
As of September 27, more than 125,000 laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in pregnant people, including more than 22,000 hospitalized cases and 161 deaths. The highest number of COVID-19-related deaths in pregnant people (22) in a single month of the pandemic was reported in August 2021. Data from the COVID-19-Associated Hospitalization Surveillance Network (COVID-NET) in 2021 indicate that approximately 97 percent of pregnant people hospitalized (either for illness or for labor and delivery) with a confirmed COVID-19 infection were unvaccinated.
In addition to the risks of severe illness and death for pregnant and recently pregnant people, there is an increased risk for adverse pregnancy and neonatal outcomes, including preterm birth and admission of their infant(s) to an intensive care unit (ICU). Other adverse pregnancy outcomes, such as stillbirth, have been reported.
Despite the known risks of COVID-19, as of September 18, just 31 percent of pregnant people were fully vaccinated before or during their pregnancy. There are racial and ethnic disparities in vaccination coverage for pregnant people. The CDC urges healthcare providers to communicate the risks of COVID-19, the benefits of vaccination, and information on the safety and effectiveness of COVID-19 vaccination in pregnancy, including for those who are pregnant, recently pregnant (including those who are lactating), who are trying to become pregnant now, or who might become pregnant in the future. It is important for those people to receive one of the authorized or approved COVID-19 vaccines as soon as possible.