SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) -The Springfield-Greene County Health Department has reported 23 deaths in the last two days, 11 Wednesday and 12 Tuesday.
We’re only one week into the month of October and Assistant Health Director Katie Towns tells KY3 there have already been 35 COVID-19 related deaths this month. The quick rise in numbers puts the county well over 100 deaths since the pandemic began in March.
“The numbers are alarming and they continue to rise and it’s extremely concerning,” said Towns.
She said despite efforts to reduce the risk of the virus, the disease continues to spread and has now taken the lives of 112 people in Greene County.
“It’s disheartening and it’s overwhelming to look at a page and see numbers like this,” Towns said. “Honestly, it breaks my heart.”
11 deaths were announced Wednesday. Their ages ranging from 60′s to 100′s.
“We’ve been concerned, and you know making sure we are reaching as many seniors as we can,” said Christine Thompson, the director of community engagement with Senior Age Area Agency on Ageing.
Thompson said working with an at risk group during this pandemic hasn’t been easy.
“The concern is there, everybody in our agency is the type of person that leads with their heart,” she said. “You know we hate to hear it, but for the folks that are in their homes and in place we urge that they wash their hands, they wear a mask and they disinfect as often as possible.”
Thompson said they have had an increase in seniors reaching out for their help over the last few months.
”We’re getting meals out to people, that has increased so much, I don’t know to what extent, but it’s increased immensely,” she said. “We are just trying to hit every person we can and if you are a person who needs help and you’re over the age of 60 we’re the agency you should call.”
The phone number for Senior Age is 417-862-0762
The health department continues to report that most of those who died had underlying health condition, things as common as being overweight, or having high blood pressure.
”A lot of people that have suffered and ultimately perished from this virus have had years ahead of them that could have been long, happy, healthy years even if they had an underlying health condition,” Towns said.
The health department has told KY3 in the past it shares that information in order to continue to be transparent about its cases.
“So I think what is important to note on that fact alone is that we have an obligation to protect each other, we all live with underlying health conditions that we don’t know even if we are healthy if this virus is going to prey on us,” Towns said. “So we have to be careful, we have to be vigilant, and we have to stay the course with this.”
According to the health department’s news release, five of those individuals who died were associated with long-term care facilities. Towns said the health department continues to work with those facilities, along with the state, to try to work through any challenges that occur as this disease continues to spread.
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