By Tom Patterson, Nodaway County Health Center administrator

All areas should expect to experience variants.

We are all too connected to be exempt. The delta variant has quickly become prevalent across the country and we can expect that another variant might replace it in the near future. Any variants can be more contagious and more resilient than earlier strains. Delta is an example. It is causing more severe disease, hospitalizations and deaths. Also, it appears to be causing more cases in young adults and children now, both nationwide and in Missouri. And yes, delta is in Northwest Missouri.

Stats to consider: According to the CDC, 83 percent of all new COVID cases are from the delta variant. Three states make up 40 percent of the new cases. Missouri is one of the three. Unvaccinated people account for nearly all hospitalizations and deaths among COVID-19 patients, 97 percent, or 97 out of every 100.

The best protection against all variations of the COVID-19 virus is to get vaccinated. It can protect us from missing school or work, from making those around us sick, from getting severely ill, being hospitalized, or prematurely dying.

Vaccinations will be the key to overcoming this pandemic. This is not a new concept. Viruses cause illnesses and vaccines combat viruses. We all want to move past this and have healthy communities and thriving economies. A vaccinated workforce is a protected workforce. The same goes for your homes, your organizations and social circles. It’s that simple.

Let’s also remember the basic precautions that we are all familiar with and which still help to prevent transmission of any variations of COVID-19: social distancing and wearing masks, good handwashing and hygiene practices and staying home when you’re sick.

We are asking those who have been undecided or on the fence to please get vaccinated. Try not to let others pressure or influence you out of protecting yourself and family. People from many backgrounds and affiliations are getting vaccinated.

For more information, please contact Nodaway County Health Center at 660.562.2755 or contact one of the several local vaccinating providers about getting your COVID-19 vaccination.

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