County remains in ‘extreme risk’ category for COVID-19 positivity as state moves into Tier 2 plan

From Staff Reports
Posted 1/20/21

Although the number of new COVID-19 cases diagnosed per week decreased substantially, Gasconade County ended the prior week with 75 new cases over the previous seven days, according to Dr. …

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County remains in ‘extreme risk’ category for COVID-19 positivity as state moves into Tier 2 plan

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Although the number of new COVID-19 cases diagnosed per week decreased substantially, Gasconade County ended the prior week with 75 new cases over the previous seven days,
 according to Dr. Michael Rothermich with Hermann Area District Hospital.

“Despite this decrease in cases, our ‘7 Day Cases Rate per 100K’ remains in the state’s highest risk category of ‘Extreme’ risk. The county’s ‘7 Day Positivity Rate’ also remained in ‘Extreme’ risk category.”

This reality comes as Gov. Mike Parson announced Thursday the activation of  Phase 1B — Tier 1 of Missouri’s COVID-19 Vaccination Plan.

According to Gallagher Consultants reporting on behalf of Missouri Press Association members, “federal partners have informed the state that they plan to significantly increase vaccine supply starting Jan. 18, and that individuals 65 and older and those with comorbidities should be prioritized. This news allows the state to begin the process of activating Phase 1B tiers.”

• Tier 1 of Phase 1B, activated Jan. 14, focuses on vaccinations for law enforcement, fire service, and public health professionals, among others.

• Tier 2 of Phase 1B, activated Jan. 18, focuses on protecting those who are at increased risk for severe illness, including individuals aged 65 and older and any adult with cancer, chronic kidney disease, COPD, or intellectual and/or developmental disabilities such as Down Syndrome, heart conditions, a weakened immune system due to organ transplant, severe obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease, or Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus.

• Tier 3 of Phase 1B, to be activated after tiers 1 and 2, focus on critical infrastructure workers. This group includes education (K-12), childcare, communications sector, dams sector, energy sector, food/agriculture sector, government, information technology sector, nuclear reactors, materials, and waste sector and transportation systems sector, and water and wastewater systems sector.

A list of vaccinators and regional vaccine implementation teams is available at www.MOstopsCovid.com although a check of the site on Tuesday indicated supplies of the vaccine were not yet available at most participating businesses or agencies listed.

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services officials (DHSS) encourage employers and associations representing individuals in activated phases to use the list to connect with a vaccinator or regional vaccine implementation team in their area and make a plan for vaccinating their teams.

But, DHSS cautions, although initial tiers within Phase 1B are being activated, there are currently not enough vaccines for everyone included in these groups.

As additional supplies arrive, this activation will allow for the greatest vaccine coverage where it is most needed. It will also allow vaccinators and organizations to continue planning effectively for future tiers and phases.

Individuals in Phase 1A and Phase 1B – Tier 1 should work through their employer and/or association to access the vaccine. Individuals in Phase 1B – Tier 2 should contact their local pharmacy or health care provider or visit www.MOstopsCovid.com to learn when vaccines may be available and how to receive them.

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