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KSMU is dedicated to broadcasting critically important information as our community experiences the COVID-19 pandemic. Below, you'll find our ongoing coverage.

Delta Variant Is Impacting A Younger Population In Greene County

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Younger people are being impacted especially hard by the latest surge in coronavirus cases in southwest Missouri.

The acting director of the Springfield-Greene County Health Department Katie Towns said Tuesday they had just reported the death of a 26-year-old who died at home of COVID-19.

"We have to stop thinking that this disease is only impacting those who are older or unhealthy, especially now that the variant is proving just the opposite," said Towns.  "The average age of deaths among our county's residents has fallen 16 years since December.  COVID-19 is a threat to all those who are unvaccinated."

More than 235 cases per day are being reported to the health department, and the majority of those is under the age of 40, according to Towns. 

She said cases are up 63 percent in the age category of 23 to 30 and up 51 percent among those 18 to 22.  And hospitals are seeing more and more young people admitted to critical care with COVID-19.

That’s likely because of low vaccination rates among young people, according to Towns.

She said only 17 percent of Greene County residents under age 20 are vaccinated and just 22 percent of residents 21 to 30-years-old are vaccinated.

Find out how to get a COVID-19 vaccine at vaccine417.com or call (417) 874-1211.