COVID cases continue to climb in Crawford County

    COVID cases are still on the rise in Crawford County, with 59 confirmed cases reported for the week ending on August 25. A month ago, there had been 40 new cases reported for the week ending July 23, and that had been more than almost the whole month of June.


    According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) website that tracks the illness, as of August 25, the total confirmed cases had climbed to 2,729—an increase of 278 since July 25. At that point there had been an increase of 111 since the previous month. Both months show substantial increases over the 31 new cases that were reported for the month of June (between May 31 and June 29).
    In addition to the confirmed PCR cases, the probable antigen case numbers are also on the rise, with a new total of 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 15.1 percent as of August 25, well above the 10 percent that is considered high, but below July’s 18.1 percent. That number stood at 4.0 percent on June 29, nearly the same as it was at the end of May, when it was at 4.2 percent.
    The total death count in Crawford County increased by two in the last month, with a current total of 43 confirmed COVID-related deaths overall.  
    County residents have now had a total of 24,203 PCR tests conducted, compared to 22,339 last month, and 10,481 antigen tests, compared to 8,608.
    The percentage of Crawford County residents who’ve completed the vaccine regimen remains low. As of August 25, just 25.4 percent of the population has completed vaccination. A month ago, 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.
    Currently, following recent announcements from the US Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, certain immunocompromised individuals can begin receiving third doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Missouri.
    A third dose of the PfizerNBioTech or Moderna vaccines may be administered to moderately to severely immunocompromised people due to a medical condition or combination of immunosuppressive medication or treatments including but not limited to the following: Immunocompromised due to solid organ transplant and taking immune suppressing medications, immunocompromised due to active treatment for solid tumor and hematologic malignancies, immunocompromised due to Receipt of CAR-T cell or hematopoietic stem cell transplant (within two years of transplantation or taking immunosuppression therapy), moderate to severe primary immunodeficiency (eg., DiGeorge, Wiskott-Aldrich Syndromes), immunocompromised due to advanced or untreated HIV infection, immunocompromised due to “active treatment with high-dose corticosteroids or other drugs that may suppress immune response: high dose corticosteroids (ie.,≥ 20 mg prednisone or equivalent per day), alkylating agents, antimetabolites, transplant-related immunosuppressive drugs, cancer chemotherapeutic agents classified as severely immunosuppressive, tumor-necrosis (TNF) blocker or other biologic agents that are immunosuppressive or immunomodulatory.
     Individuals who do not meet the criteria for “moderately to severely immunocompromised” do not need a third dose at this time.      
     In line with federal guidelines, Missouri will use a self-attestation model for people who are moderately to severely immunocompromised. Individuals will not be required to provide documentation of their health status, and they can get third doses at all venues where first and second doses are available.
     This guidance does not apply to those who received the Janssen/Johnson & Johnson vaccine. For people who received either Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine series, a third dose of the same mRNA vaccine should be used. A person should not receive more than three mRNA vaccine doses at this time. If the mRNA vaccine product given for the first two doses is not available or is unknown, either mRNA COVID-19 vaccine product may be administered. Individuals should wait at least 28 days between their second and third doses.
     Vaccine providers and events in Missouri can be found at MOStopsCovid.com.
     Announcements from federal health officials came after the analysis of studies demonstrating that immunosuppressed people are more likely to get severely ill from COVID-19, are at higher risk for prolonged infection, are more likely to transmit the virus, and experience lower vaccine effectiveness.
     Additional information regarding this guidance can be found on the CDC website athttps://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/recommendations/immuno.html.
     Interim clinical considerations for use of COVID-19 vaccines can be found athttps://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/clinical-considerations/covid-19-vaccines-us.html.
     Missouri’s revised standing orders can be found athttps://health.mo.gov/living/healthcondiseases/communicable/novel-coronavirus/statewide-orders.php.
     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.