In rural Kansas and Missouri, the delta coronavirus variant is infecting an increasing number of people.
The variant, which was initially discovered in India in October, was elevated this week by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from a “variant of interest” to a “variant of concern” by the CDC. According to the CDC, the delta variation is responsible for roughly 10% of new infections in the United States.
According to the most recent CDC statistics, Missouri has the greatest percentage of reported instances of the delta variation, at 6.8%.
The number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations has increased in southwest Missouri.
Random testing of viral samples reveals an increase in instances of the delta strain, according to Kendra Findley, Green County’s administrator of community health and epidemiology.
“It shows us that what we’ve got in the community is a lot more infectious variety that we’re dealing with,” she told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “It demonstrates why we have such a spike of cases not only in Greene County but across southwest Missouri.”
The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said in a statement on Wednesday that the state “is witnessing an increase in persons developing the Delta variant,” and that residents should be vaccinated.
Mercy Hospital Springfield made a social media plea for Missourians to be vaccinated, giving a gloomy picture of the situation at area hospitals.
“The number of beds available is limited. The lines at the emergency room are long. Patients with COVID are younger, sicker, and have not been immunized. Vaccines are inexpensive, readily available, and effective. So, what exactly are you waiting for? 82, 102, or 152? What about only one? Just one person you care about? You?” Mercy’s chief administrative officer, Erik Frederick, penned the following letter.
According to official data, 43.4 percent of Missouri residents have begun immunization and 37.7% have finished vaccination.
In the adjacent state of Kansas, the delta variety is also becoming a cause of significant worry.
“The CDC believes that around 10% of new cases [in Kansas] are caused by delta,” Amanda Cackler, director of quality and safety at the University of Kansas Health System, told KMBC in Kansas City, Missouri. “COVID-19-related fatalities have occurred and are continuing to occur. On June 12th, we had our most recent one.”
According to the state’s health department tracker, 43.6 percent of Kansas residents have received one dose of vaccine and 37.6 percent have received all three doses.
Officials, including CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, have stated that the COVID-19 vaccinations protect against all variations, and that being vaccinated is the best way to protect oneself against the delta version.
The demand to inoculate more of these rural people is greater than ever.
“Our main worry is that we’re running out of arms,” Cackler told KMBC. “So it’s really just trying to get people in circumstances where they can get their vaccination because we have enough of inventory.”
The CDC has identified two regions as having the highest estimated percentages of new delta variant cases: the Midwest and the Mountain West states. The delta strain is responsible for 23.5 percent of all cases in the Midwest, which includes Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska, according to the CDC.
According to the World Health Organization, the delta variation has been documented in more than 80 nations.
Walensky warned on Friday that the variation might quickly become the most common strain in the US.
According to CDC data, 53.1 percent of the US population has gotten at least one vaccination dose, and 44.7 percent is completely immunized.