August 04, 2021

Delta variant, low vaccination rate worries Public Health officials

GREENFIELD — As the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus spreads to areas closer and closer to home, Adair County Public Health officials say now is a better time than ever for people to be vigilant of hand washing, social distancing and masking. They also say those who are unvaccinated in the county should consider receiving the vaccine.

“The most concerning thing about the Delta variant is that it appears to spread more quickly and easily than other identified variants,” Public Health officials said. “Vaccination is the single best tool we have to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”

Officials report 40.4% of the population in Adair County has been vaccinated. They say 70% vaccinated is the rate needed for herd immunity. About 15 individuals are being vaccinated here each week. Walk-in vaccinations are offered Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in the public health office at the hospital. On Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, they are available at Nucara Pharmacy during normal business hours.

“Vaccine is safe and widely available, and we encourage all individuals 12 years and older to be vaccinated to help protect against COVID-19 and variants,” officials said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says the Delta variant, first detected in the United States back in March, appears to spread more quickly and easily than other variants. Across the medical world, it raises concerns of potentially more people being infected with the virus, hospitalizations and deaths.

While hospital facilities like Greater Regional Health in Creston have recently returned to mitigation protocols they once shed, like requiring masks and limiting entrances to their facility, officials at Adair County Health System (ACHS) say they haven’t ever completely lifted any of those measures, and they’re staying in place for now to protect patients and staff.

“We have been cautious not to open our facility up to ‘business as usual’ due to the presence of variants in the state,” said Amy Smith, Marketing and Foundation Director at ACHS. “If the Delta variant is identified in Adair County, our team will swiftly make necessary changes to continue to protect our patients and staff.”

Caleb Nelson

Caleb Nelson has served as News Editor of the Adair County Free Press and Fontanelle Observer since Oct. 2017. He and his wife Kilee live in Greenfield. In Greenfield and the greater Adair County area, he values the opportunity to tell peoples' stories, enjoys playing guitar, following all levels of sports, and being a part of his local church.