Grundy County Health Department reports on COVID Delta Variant, breakthrough cases and spread of COVID by water

Grundy County Health Department Website

As of June 29th, 16 breakthrough cases of COVID-19 had been reported in Grundy County since vaccination began in the county. One of the 38 active cases on June 29th was a breakthrough case.

Health Department Administrator Elizabeth Gibson says that is about typical for breakthrough cases.

 

 

Two thousand four hundred eighty-four Grundy County residents had received both doses of Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine or the one-dose Johnson and Johnson vaccine.

Gibson notes someone is considered fully vaccinated two weeks after the last dose of a vaccine. She explains if someone gets COVID-19 a few days after being vaccinated, that would not be considered a breakthrough case.

About 2,700 residents had received only one dose of a two-dose vaccine.

 

 

The vaccination rate for Grundy County was 27%, which Gibson says is about the same as many surrounding counties.

Residents can receive a vaccine at three locations in Grundy County: the health department, Wright Memorial Physicians Group, and Hy-Vee.

Anyone who is at least 12 years old can be vaccinated. The Pfizer vaccine is approved for individuals as young as 12. Gibson mentions Hy-Vee is currently offering Pfizer vaccines, and anyone younger than 18 has to have parental consent.

Three new COVID-19 cases were reported for Grundy County on June 28th, which brought the total to 1,240. Gibson notes there had been 121 new cases so far in June, and one new COVID-19-related death.  She says the updates on new cases provided by the health department usually report on the day before.

 

 

She reports there were a handful of hospitalizations for Grundy County. She acknowledges that the health department does not have good data on that because hospitalizations are not reportable.

 

 

She mentions that the number of hospitalizations has increased recently in Grundy County, and she believes that is most likely related to the number of new cases.

She attributes the recent increase in new cases to variants circulating, an outbreak in Linn and Livingston counties, a lot of the virus circulating in the community, and vaccination numbers being low.

Gibson advises residents planning to travel or spend time with others to consider getting vaccinated.

 

 

She says unvaccinated individuals should continue to wear masks when gathering indoors, in large groups, or with people who are more vulnerable. She also encourages residents who are more vulnerable, in addition to being vaccinated, to wear masks, especially if they are going into crowded places with people from different places.

Anyone who feels sick or is sick is also asked to stay home, even if symptoms are mild.

Gibson says the CDC has the best information on COVID-19 vaccines. She notes there are ongoing studies about how vaccines fair in real-world and healthcare environments.

Gibson reports there had been three confirmed instances of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in Grundy County as of June 29th. The cases were confirmed through further testing of specimens at a state or a hospital lab.

 

 

She says the Delta variant is a concern to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention because it is found to be more transmissible, and symptoms can be worse.

There has also been one instance of the Kappa variant confirmed in Grundy County.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, and the University of Missouri have been working on a sewershed surveillance project. Gibson explains samples are taken from wastewater plants in different parts of the state.

Grundy County is not participating, but Sullivan and Linn counties are.

 

 

If COVID-19 is found in wastewater, it means it is circulating. Gibson says variants in the wastewater can be isolated through genetic testing and can let health officials know what is circulating in the community.

She emphasizes that COVID-19 is not spread through drinking water.