New COVID Variant Cases Rise


More than 270 new COVID-19 cases have been reported in County in the last 24 hours, causing concern from doctors about where we’re headed in this pandemic.

Wednesday afternoon, Baptist said between their hospitals, 106 people are hospitalized with the virus, 12 of them on a ventilator.  Local hospitals encourage COVID vaccination, but most don’t require it for employees.

Experts with Baptist Hospital say they’re seeing more cases of the contagious delta variant, but recently, two gamma variants as well.

“That really is something that I certainly keep an eye on as being one of those variants that really has no respect for the immunity for previous infections,” said Dr. Steve with Baptist.

The message pushed by top doctors across the nation: Get vaccinated. But millions of Americans are still hesitant to get the shot. The reason behind that uncertainty varies from access to concerns about possible side effects.

Threlkeld says right now science is showing us long-term, negative effects of COVID like respiratory problems, high blood pressure, and other issues.

As for current COVID-19 vaccines, they are RNA vaccines, meaning they teach our bodies to make a protein triggering an immune response. Threlkeld said they have been studied in animals since 1990.

The latest numbers from the health department show nearly 59% of its vaccination goal.