Gough Discusses Surge in COVID Cases
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By Marlana Smith
School districts in Shelby County went to virtual learning last week after a surge in COVID-19 cases and other sickness in the county.
North Shelby cancelled its basketball tournament. The movie at Hawkins Theater was cancelled.
As of Thursday, January 20, 2022, the county had 140 active cases. Since March of 2020, there have been a reported 1,536 cases according to Shelby County Health Department Administrator Audrey Gough.
Three individuals were hospitalized as of January 20. There has been a total of 14 deaths reported due to COVID-19.
Gough said there were approximately 13 positives at North Shelby School District and 13 at Shelby County R-IV District. Those numbers include staff and students.
“We know there have been many sick but are home testing and not reporting,” Gough said.
According to Gough, ages of positive cases has been from six weeks old up to patients in their 80s. At the time, the SCHD is not seeing a trend in any certain age group.
Since March 2020, the pandemic has tested public health in Missouri in ways never seen before.
“It’s been a huge learning curve which changes on a daily and sometime hourly basis,” Gough continued, “The political ramifications of the pandemic have only hindered the process of getting the pandemic to an endemic state. Massive amounts of misinformation have caused people their lives and destroyed family relations.”
In the county, 43.6 percent are fully vaccinated, ages ranging from five to 100.
For anyone wishing to receive a vaccine, the SCHD offers Moderna vaccines for those who are 18 years and up, Pfizer for 12 years and up, Pfizer Pediatric for ages 5-11. Call their office to schedule an appointment. Johnston Drug in Clarence has Moderna vaccines available daily and Samaritan Hospital has the Pfizer vaccines daily as well. The major pharmacy chains such as Walgreen, CVS, Walmart, HyVee, etc. have vaccines available as well.
“Right now, Omicron is running rapid in our county, state and nation. We need to keep working at slowing the spread by getting vaccinated, social distancing, wearing a well-fitted mask, washing hands frequently, and getting tested when symptoms begin and staying home and isolating away from their family and friends,” Gough said.
Testing in Shelby County is available at Peoples Clinics in Shelbyville and Clarence and Shelbina Family Practice. Individuals must call for an appointment for testing. Urgent Care in Macon has testing available also during the week and the weekends.
Gough said the health department continues working with local partners in the schools, nursing homes and private business’ on ways to help slow the spread and putting effective mitigation measures in place.
“Shelby County has always been a great county that looks out for one another and always ready to answer the call of their neighbor, friends and strangers in their time of need,” Gough continued, “Now is the time to step up and do what needs to be done to protect one another.
Now is the time for ALL of us to do our part so we can move forward with life.”