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Doctor: COVID-19 remains a real threat

COLUMBIA, Mo. (KMIZ)

The president might have said the pandemic is over but this isn't the time to forget how bad COVID-19 can be, a Boone Health doctor said Tuesday.

Dr. Robin Blount told ABC 17 News that people shouldn't drop their guard against the coronavirus.

"We need to continue to recognize that covid is here with us," Blount said. "We may have another variant that may have started. There has been another variant identified, but will it take hold? Will it do what some of these other variants have done? Nobody knows."

President Joe Biden said in a "60 Minutes" interview that aired Sunday that the COVID-19 pandemic is "over," even as the virus remains a significant public health threat. A public health emergency declared over COVID-19 is in effect until at least Oct. 13.

Blount says she hopes Biden's words don't steer people away from new boosters meant to handle the omicron variants. Boone Health will keep pushing for people to get vaccinated, especially as winter approaches, she said. 

Blount says cases are dropping at Boone Health. The hospital treats about eight to 12 inpatients with COVID-19 each day and for several months no patients have died from COVID-19 at the hospital. 

"It's not a disease that's not important or dangerous, we're just fortunate that the majority of people have milder cases," Blount said.

Missouri's state profile report shows last week there were 152 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 people. This is down 8% from the previous week. COVID-19 deaths per 100,000 were at 0.7. New cases in Boone County are at their lowest point since early summer.

Blount said the approaching cold means it's time to get that bivalent vaccine. 

"The immunity that we receive not from the vaccines but the disease itself is not long-lasting and so that is why we need to be totally aware of what virus and virus variants are out there and continue to adapt our vaccines," Blount said.

To find a list of places to get the bivalent vaccine in Missouri, click here.

Article Topic Follows: Coronavirus

Kennedy Miller

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