Fourth of July raises worries as vaccination efforts gear up


BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — Health officials working to boost lagging COVID-19 vaccination rates in Missouri are growing anxious as the Fourth of July weekend approaches, creating ripe conditions for the fast-spreading delta variant to send hospital numbers climbing even further.

In the Branson area, Taney County health director Lisa Marshall says, “We are just kind of keeping an eye to see what is going to happen.” Missouri is second only to Nevada for having the worst diagnosis rate over the past week.

Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that its seven-day rolling average of daily new cases has risen over the past two weeks from 576.14 new cases per day on June 15 to 891.71 new cases per day on Tuesday.

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