Jefferson County issues health warning as Delta COVID variant spreads among teens and children

Missouri

HILLSBORO, Mo. – The Jefferson County Health Department has issued a health advisory after significant increases in community transmission of COVID-19 with the emergence of the Delta variant.  New cases of COVID-19 are rising among unvaccinated people. Health officials say that COVID cases among children and teens are spreading as they resume activities without protection.

Over the last two weeks, the number of new cases in Jefferson County has increased from 59 to 84- a 42% increase. The highest number of cases during week 25 were in our 10–19 year old age group. 

Health officials say they are concerned about the increase in COVID rates right before school starts because it takes about five weeks to go through the process to become fully vaccinated.

Officials say only 10.8 percent of 10 to 19-year-olds in Jefferson County are fully vaccinated. The health department says youngsters face a couple of barriers, they need a parent to drive them to the clinic and to sign off on the vaccination.

House Springs resident Chelsea Chisholm said, “Yes, I’m a mom of three. I mean I think they should all be vaccinated.”

“I’m in band so we travel a lot. So when I get the chance, I’d like to get vaccinated so I don’t have to worry so much when we travel,” said 15-year-old Christina Creason.

The health department says unvaccinated children and adults should wear masks and practice social distancing. About 29 percent of the population in the county is fully vaccinated.

Officials say the best way to stop the spread of COVID-19 is to get vaccinated. You can check the Jefferson County Health Department’s website for a vaccination location nearest you.

Jefferson County Health Department’s health recommendations:

  • Wear a face covering in indoor public places when other people are present, even if you are vaccinated.  We only recommend removing masks when you know the vaccination status of every person in your vicinity.
  • Please assume that 1 in 3 people in any crowd or gathering may be unvaccinated and be aware that all children under 12 will be unvaccinated and vulnerable in crowds to being exposed to COVID-19.  We do not advise children or unvaccinated residents engage in large crowds and gatherings.
  • Protect children under 12 as they engage in school, camps, and other areas of their normal life.  They can be exposed to other unvaccinated adults and children and outbreaks among children in these settings are becoming more common.  Masks, social distancing, and hand washing are still highly recommended in order to protect children in these activities.
  • Wear a face covering in indoor public places when other people are present, even if you are vaccinated.  We only recommend removing masks when you know the vaccination status of every person in your vicinity.
  • Please assume that 1 in 3 people in any crowd or gathering may be unvaccinated and be aware that all children under 12 will be unvaccinated and vulnerable in crowds to being exposed to COVID-19.  We do not advise children or unvaccinated residents engage in large crowds and gatherings.
  • Protect children under 12 as they engage in school, camps, and other areas of their normal life.  They can be exposed to other unvaccinated adults and children and outbreaks among children in these settings are becoming more common.  Masks, social distancing, and hand washing are still highly recommended in order to protect children in these activities.

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