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COVID-19 Update: December 1, 2021

COVID-19 Update: December 1, 2021

As of today, December 1, there are 75 active COVID-19 cases in Baxter County, and 43.4% of the population of Baxter County is fully vaccinated. There are currently 17 COVID-19 patients admitted at Baxter Regional, with 7 in ICU and 3 on ventilators. There are 6 Baxter Regional employees with active COVID-19, at home and in isolation.

Additional statistics from Baxter Regional:
•    82% of 17 COVID-19 patients currently hospitalized are not fully vaccinated.
•    88% of 508 COVID-19 patients hospitalized since March 1, 2021, were not fully vaccinated.
•    82.4% of 119 COVID-19 deaths since March 1, 2021, were not fully vaccinated.

Per updated CDC recommendations, anyone 18 years and older is now eligible to receive a COVID-19 booster and may choose which COVID-19 vaccine they receive as a booster shot. Those who received a Johnson & Johnson vaccine are eligible for boosters if it has been at least two months since a primary vaccine, and those who received the Moderna or Pfizer vaccine are eligible for boosters 6 months after a primary vaccination series.

On November 4, 2021, under the direction of the Biden-Harris Administration, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued an interim final rule requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for workers in most health care settings, including hospitals and health systems that participate in the Medicare and Medicaid programs. On Monday, November 29, the Eastern District Court of Missouri issued a preliminary injunction for the CMS COVID-19 vaccination regulations. Although this is the first step in a multi-step process, the judge ruled that defendants shall immediately cease all implementation or enforcement of the Interim Final Rule with Comment Period as to any Medicare and Medicaid certified providers and suppliers within the States of Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming.

With this preliminary injunction being issued, the Baxter Regional COVID-19 vaccine mandate has been temporarily placed on hold. We are watching closely for updates as the mandate situation continues to evolve and could progress quickly depending upon what transpires in the Eastern District Court.

The Baxter Regional COVID-19 Resource Line is available at (870) 508-7001 as an easy way to access all COVID-19 services using just one phone number. Anyone in the community may call to schedule an appointment for a COVID-19 test, vaccine, booster or monoclonal antibodies infusion with provider's order, donate items for our staff, make a monetary donation to Baxter Regional Hospital Foundation or reach the COVID-19 Hotline.

The Baxter Regional COVID Grief Support Group will meet this Thursday, December 2, beginning at 3:30 p.m. at the Mruk Family Education Center on Aging. Family members and friends who have lost a loved one to COVID-19 or COVID-19 patients who have endured a lifestyle change due to contracting the disease are encouraged to attend. Seating will be socially distanced seating, and masks are required.

We urge everyone to remember this holiday season that the very best way to continue this trend is to get a COVID-19 vaccine if you are eligible and continue using precautions, remembering the basic 3 Ws: wash your hands, watch your distance and wear your mask. For more information and regular local updates on COVID-19, visit