Pettis County Health Center is worried about two areas of increasing COVID-19 cases. One to our north and one to our south, which can bring more cases of COVID-19 to our area.

In the latest Pettis County COVID-19 Task Force Briefing Pettis County Health Center says we're in between two areas of increasing COVID-19 cases. Linn, Livingston, and Chariton counties to the north, and Stone, Taney, Christian, Greene, Webster, Laclede, Camden, and Miller counties to the south. The counties to the south concern the Health Center because they are tourist and recreation destinations, and many travelers stop in Sedalia while driving to and from those destinations.

The Springfield News-Leader says "Southwest Missouri's most popular tourist areas are the epicenter of a COVID-19 outbreak linked to the Delta variant" of the COVID-19 virus that spiked India's coronavirus cases. Additionally, the newspaper reports all eight counties along a heavily traveled route from Branson to Lake of the Ozarks are among the communities that have reported the highest number of new COVID-19 cases this month.

The News-Leader reports low vaccination rates in those counties are allowing the variant to spread rapidly. In Pettis County, 27% of the population is fully vaccinated against COVID-19, which is below the state average of 36.5%. Pettis County Health Center is asking the community to continue preventative health practices among kids 12 and under and those at risk who cannot get the vaccine.

Pettis County Health Center says those fully vaccinated don't need a face covering in most places except when on public transportation of visiting hospitals, clinics, nursing homes according to the CDC. However, new variants of the COVID-19 virus increase the risk to unvaccinated people.

Pettis County Health Center is continuing walk-in coronavirus vaccination clinics on Tuesdays between 9:00 AM - 5:30 PM CDT. Katy Trail Community Health is offering COVID-19 vaccinations every Tuesday and Friday in June at the Missouri State Fairgrounds in the Nucor Pavillion during the Sedalia Area Farmers Market.

And Bothwell Regional Health Center is holding a clinic at Bothwell Truman Lake in Warsaw on Thursday, June 17. They'll be offering the Pfizer vaccine for people 12 and over from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM CDT, and the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine for those 18 years old and up from 4:00 PM - 4:45 PM CDT.

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Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

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