COVID-19 Cases Surge Across U.S., Delta Variant Behind Increase

Low vaccination rates are driving COVID-19 case rates back up in parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Texas and Nevada.
Posted at 5:46 PM, Jul 14, 2021

"We've had friends that have had it. We've had friends who've had family members pass away from having had COVID," Cindy Hillenburg, a Springfield resident, said. "But right now I just feel like I don't have to be afraid of it and I just don't want to get the vaccine."

Most people in Missouri are still staying clear of any COVID vaccine.  

"Any time that there's a new product I'm always kind of hesitant," Josiah Williams, a Springfield resident, said. 

Low vaccination rates, coupled with a surge in the dangerous Delta variant... now driving COVID-19 case rates back up in parts of not only Missouri, but also Arkansas, Texas and Nevada.  

"To say that our state's ready and the South is ready, I don't think it's true," President and CEO of CoxHealth Steven Edwards said. "We've got to prepare for the worst." 

Unvaccinated younger people are at higher risk.   

"Twenties and 30s and 40s is more common than it was before," Edwards said. "So we are average age about 12 years younger."

Still, some of these young adults tell Newsy,  they aren't worried.  

Newsy reporter Kellan Howell asked: "How do you feel about that? Does it make you concerned at all?"

"Not at the moment. Being as young as I am," Simon, a Springfield resident, said. 

The lack of concern comes at a cost.

“What we'll see, and the ones who will also pay the price other than the unvaccinated adolescents are the little kids who depend on the adults and the adolescents to get vaccinated in order to slow or halt transmission," Dr. Peter Hotez, the chair of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine, said. 

Republican Sen. Roy Blunt now urging his constituents to protect themselves.  

"We're at a critical moment here where the way to stop this is, to be sure it has nowhere that it can continue to spread to other people," Republican Sen. Roy Blunt said.