COVID-19 cases have been on the rise again in Buchanan County during the last few weeks.

St. Joseph Health Director Debra Bradley said 12 to 15 cases have been reported daily, showcasing an increase.

Mosaic Life Care spokeswoman Joey Austin said that as of Tuesday morning, the hospital had three COVID-19 patients, but the number has been as high as 10 in recent weeks.

COVID sewershed reports, which report how extensive COVID-19 is in St. Joseph wastewater, indicate the viral load has gone up for a couple of weeks as well, Bradley said. She said these signs point to COVID-19 still being a factor that people should take seriously as the virus reaches an endemic phase.

“We know that vaccines work, we know that masks work, socially distancing works, so people can take it upon themselves to take those steps to protect themselves and others,” Bradley said.

Bradley said reported numbers throughout the state are likely to be lower than the actual total due to many people taking at-home tests that are not reflected in the state’s numbers. She said this is why her department focuses on trends.

“I do believe that number is higher than the 14 per day, that’s why we don’t like hold tight to a specific number, we just watch the trends as they come and go to see if it looks like it’s spiking up,” Bradley said.

COVID vaccines still are available at local pharmacies as well as through the health department.

Clayton Anderson can be reached at clayton.anderson@newspressnow.com. Follow him on twitter: @NPNowAnderson.

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