Area COVID at all-time high - some hospitals 'beyond capacity' – county urges vaccination, masks, distancing

By Mike Genet

Jackson County health officials late Friday made a plea for people to wear face masks in public, practice social distancing and, above all, get vaccinated against COVID-19. 

The county’s case rate – 1,203 per 100,000 in population – is the highest it's ever been and was still rising as of Friday. The county says nearly every hospital in the area “is close to beyond capacity” and “high volume is threatening standards of care and leading to longer wait times and decreased bed availability.” It said health-care facilities are canceling or moving important surgeries. 

It also said, “High rates of infection and illness are also causing major disruptions in schools and other critical infrastructure areas like public safety.” 

The letter suggests these actions: 

“Take precautions during this time of extremely high community transmission: wear a mask in public, maintain social distance when possible, avoid high-risk activities, and stay home when you are sick.” 

“Above all, get vaccinated and boosted promptly. This is the single most important action you can take; the vast majority of patients hospitalized due to COVID-19 are unvaccinated. Vaccination dramatically lowers the risk of COVID-19 hospitalization and death.”