Jefferson County reported a 352% increase in cases of children diagnosed with COVID-19 from June to July.
Jefferson County, like many other counties in Missouri, is witnessing a surge in COVID-19 cases. While St. Louis County is at an eleven percent positivity rate, Jefferson County is at fifteen percent. That’s not the only startling statistic out of Jefferson County this past week though.
Just south of both St. Louis city and county, Jefferson County reported a 352 percent increase in cases of children diagnosed with COVID-19 from June to July.
“Kids CAN get COVID. And our data shows they are,” Jefferson County Health Department wrote on Facebook
. “With school starting this month, the time to act is now.”
The health department wrote for protective measures to be practiced: wash hands, wear a mask, get vaccinated and social distance. In the age group for babies to nineteen, a total of 164 cases were confirmed from July 18 to July 25.
The post from Jefferson County’s health department garnered 530 shares and 405 comments on Facebook so far. Many of the comments questioned what to do now that children will return to school within the next few weeks. The Jeff Co health department explained in the comments that the school districts determine what to put in place in their schools. Jefferson County’s health department does, however, provide schools districts “CDC guidance prevention strategies,” according to a response to one comment.
“If schools, including the college, are interested in hosting a vaccine clinic we would be happy to collaborate and bring vaccines to the community,” the health department added.
As of August 1, Jefferson County reported only 14.72 percent of ten to nineteen year olds in the county have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The health department added the rate of vaccinations had not changed much, with vaccines for the total population increasing from 31.11 percent to 31.64 percent.
Kids under the age of twelve are not eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine yet. ABC News has reported
a Pfizer vaccine for kids aged five to eleven is in the works and will submit its vaccine safety data by the end of September. Moderna puts its vaccine for children around the middle of fall. From there, eligibility falls to how quickly the FDA authorizes the vaccine.
Hospitals in the St. Louis region are currently reporting 493 COVID-19 patients with 130 patients in the ICU, according to Missouri Health Department data
The Jefferson County Health Department urged commenters and residents to continue to take precautions and clarified to several commenters that the vaccine is safe and effective. The department also mentioned there is data to support the COVID-19 vaccine works against the delta variant.
“It's up to all of us to protect the kids in our community,” Jefferson County Health Department said.
Read the weekly report from Jefferson County here
or view more information on its website jeffcohealth.org
Follow Jenna on Twitter at @writesjenna. Email the author at [email protected]
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