Johnson County, along with Lafayette and Saline counties have been named as COVID-19 hotspots according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Based on data compiled between July 29 and August 12 COVID-19 cases have increased in all three counties over those14 days, and area hospitals are seeing their resources being strained by what the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services characterizes as "dramatically increased numbers of COVID-19 patients and hospitalizations." The advisory goes on to say that several hospitals in the region are at, or are near capacity.

23% percent of Johnson County, 35% percent of Lafayette County, and 36% of Saline County is fully vaccinated. According to the MDHSS, 70% to 80% of the population needs to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to minizine the spread of the virus in communities.

Between July 29 and August 12 there were 299 new COVID-19 cases in Johnson County, 256 in Lafayette County and 165 cases in Saline County.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services continues to encourage everyone over the age of 12 to get the COVID-19 vaccination.

Herb B. Kuhn, President, and CEO of the Missouri Hospital Association encourages vaccination because it does more than mitigate the symptoms of COVID-19, it allows hospitals to help people with other critical health crises. "Vaccination reduces COVID-19 hospitalizations. Hospital ICUs are struggling to keep up. You can help ensure this space is available for other life-threatening illnesses.”

And Daniel P. Mehan, President, and CEO of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry believes vaccinations are the way the State can recover from the problems business and industry have endured during the pandemic. “The COVID-19 vaccine is Missouri’s pathway to recovery. We strongly encourage Missourians to protect themselves by getting vaccinated as soon as possible.”

Johnson County Community Health Services has a walk-in vaccine clinic every Wednesday from 1:00 PM - 4:30 PM CDT at their offices, 723 PCA Road in Warrensburg. COVID-19 vaccinations are also being offered at the Missouri State Fair from 4:00 PM -7:00 PM at a booth in the Matthewson Exhibition Center through Saturday.

LOOK: Answers to 30 common COVID-19 vaccine questions

While much is still unknown about the coronavirus and the future, what is known is that the currently available vaccines have gone through all three trial phases and are safe and effective. It will be necessary for as many Americans as possible to be vaccinated in order to finally return to some level of pre-pandemic normalcy, and hopefully these 30 answers provided here will help readers get vaccinated as soon they are able.

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