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COVID-19 Delta variant surges in Webster County, health leaders discuss mitigation plans

Updated: Jun. 21, 2021 at 5:41 PM CDT
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MARSHFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - COVID-19 cases are surging in Webster County.

Local health officials say many of those cases are of the new Delta variant of the coronavirus. The new strain is proving to be more contagious than the original strain.

“It’s six times as bad as far as being able to spread,” Dr. Dennis Robinson at Marshfield Family Clinic said.

The Delta variant is also causing people to have more severe symptoms than the original COVID-19.

“When one person gets it, it spreads to more people. It seems to affect them a little differently, more with GI complaints. They feel worse than they did with the original COVID,” Dr. Robinson said. “They stay sicker longer. I’ve had several patients run a fever seven or eight days.”

During a meeting Monday, leaders of the Webster County Health Department, local doctors, and the Webster County COVID-19 Task Force discussed plans to mitigate the spread, which is becoming more and more prevalent locally and across the nation.

“That variant is dominant in 96% in our sewer shed,” Webster County Health Unit Administrator Scott Allen said

It’s not only causing more patients to come in to be treated at local clinics, but also more patients being hospitalized.

“I’m seeing them back in the emergency department months later, they’re having all kinds of complications and problems related to the disease,” Trauma Physician Dr. Sam Alexander said.

Doctors say the COVID-19 vaccine is the best way for people to protect themselves from COVID-19 and any new variants.

“Do the right thing and be patriotic and get the vaccine,” Dr. Alexander said. “Because somewhere down the line, it’s going to be passed on to someone that you know, and they’re going to die because of people not doing the right thing.”

Health leaders say getting the vaccine not only helps the person receiving it, but also people around them.

“I hope that you don’t have the experience I’ve had in my family where a cousin came home, saw his dad at Christmas. He got exposed to COVID gave it to his parents and his father died within a week,” Dr. Robinson said.

Webster County health leaders are also discussing the possibility of providing incentives for people who chose to get vaccinated. The local fire department is also teaming up with the health department to provide in-home vaccinations for people who may not have transportation.

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