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COVID-19 cases on the rise in Taney County, CoxHealth unit in Branson filling up again

Updated: Jun. 12, 2021 at 9:05 PM CDT
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BRANSON, Mo. (KY3) - Weeks since mask mandates and social distancing requirements have been relaxed, Taney County is seeing an uptick in COVID-19 cases.

Karen Kramer the Chief Hospital Officer for CoxHealth said there are now 56 patients across the health system that are hospitalized with COVID-19.

”We haven’t seen numbers like that for months now,” said Kramer.

Kramer said the COVID-19 unit at Cox Medical Center Branson has been full all week. Once those units fill up in Branson, patients are transported to Springfield or other area hospitals for treatment.

”Taney County and Greene County have had about an equal number of patients hospitalized with COVID, but if you think about it, Greene County is about five times more populated than Taney County, so that’s seems like an unusually high number compared to the population,” Kramer said.

She said it’s also alarming to see younger patients in the hospital from COVID-19 recently.

”Previously-hospitalized patients tended to be at the older age of the age spectrum, but we’ve seen a shift downward,” Kramer said.

Around 20% of the patients hospitalized and seriously ill are 41 years of age or younger.

Taney County resident Sabrina Long said she thinks the COVID-19 safety guidelines were lifted too early.

”If everybody’s going to be getting sick, we really need to be safe again because not everybody is getting their shot.

A shot that she says she plans to get soon.

”I’m high risk, I had open heart surgery, and when I get sick it wears me out and puts me down,” said Long.

Despite the cases rising, vaccines are still not being used at the rate health officials would like to see.

Kramer said the best defense against COVID-19 is through vaccines. CLICK HERE for upcoming vaccine opportunities in Taney County.

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