Indications of a stubborn and ongoing COVID-19 infection rate in the county, even as numbers dropped elsewhere in the state, have begun to fall in Van Buren County, with a significant decline in the past seven days. In addition, Ozark Health reports a case lowering.

The county had 91 cases of COVID-19 effective Oct. 4, that up from 88 cases seven days prior. It is now down to 57 cases effective Oct. 11. During the same period two additional deaths due to COVID-19 have taken place, raising that number to 39. As of Oct. 11, 2,054 in the county have recovered from the disease.

These numbers reflect the state trend, now down to 6,889 cases after a Delta-surge peak of 25,721 cases in mid-August. State-wide, 8,132 have succumbed to the disease.

As has been the case throughout, Van Buren County continues to lag the state in vaccination rates, remaining at its recently-achieved 41.9 percent of the population for the second week. Vaccinations in the state continue to climb, now at 53.2 percent of the population (1,361,176 people) vaccinated up from last week’s 52.9 percent.

The state health department shows over 89 percent of people currently hospitalized for COVID-19 are unvaccinated, are are unvaccinated accounting for 87.9 percent of the cases in the state.

Ozark Health is reporting COVID-19 admissions are dropping. Some concern about the winter flu is recorded.

Ozark Health CEO David Deaton said in a statement: “During the first full week of October COVID-19 related cases accounted for about the same number of emergency department visits as in the previous three weeks. We are very pleased to report that the first time since the beginning of the recent surge, Ozark Health Medical Center had no COVID-19 related hospital admissions. The number of monoclonal antibody treatments dropped 10 percent from the prior week. Both COVID-19 testing volumes and positivity positivity rates continue to decline. Statewide COVID-19 related hospital admissions continue to decline, decreasing by 37 percent over the last two weeks. With flu season approaching, we encourage everyone to consider getting vaccinated. This, combined with hand washing and staying home if you are sick, is one of the most effective things we can do to avoid and/or reduce the seriousness of influenza. Flu vaccinations are available in a number of locations, including most all area pharmacies. COVID-19 vaccines remain widely available, as well.”

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