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Letter to Our Community (5/21/21)

As we look forward to summer, it’s refreshing to see signs of recovery from COVID-19. Last week, the CDC announced some great news: fully vaccinated individuals can resume their activities from before the pandemic without wearing a mask or social distancing.

This is important for both the physical and fiscal health of our community. Our aim is keep the positive momentum throughout the lake area’s busy season and beyond.

Our next step forward

The progress this community has made against COVID-19 in just one year, from testing to treatment to vaccination, is truly remarkable. We have learned so much and continue to make strides and policy adjustments based on the latest findings.

But we couldn’t do it without your help.

Thus far, we have seen overwhelming evidence that vaccination works. (That’s the reason for the CDC’s recent policy update.) In order to put this pandemic in our rearview mirror and avoid additional interruptions to our lives, we need more people to adopt the vaccine.

By achieving wider immunity, we can protect everyone in our region, including the vacationers who plan to visit us this year.

During the past few months, people have shared with me a variety of reasons for vaccine hesitance. Some believe they are young enough or healthy enough to avoid life-threatening illness. Sadly, that’s not always the case. Currently, 20 to 44 year-olds make up the largest group of positive cases. In addition, the most recent data from the CDC is showing that adults younger than 50 account for a majority of the nation’s hospitalized COVID-19 patients.

For those who are on the fence about vaccination, Lake Regional has added a myths/facts section to our website at lakeregional.com/vaccine to explain common misconceptions about the vaccine. We encourage you to take a look and to avoid medical advice from unqualified sources.

But, the most important fact I want you to remember is: vaccines save lives.

They also improve lives by allowing us to return to a more normal mode of operation. Millions of Americans already have taken this step forward because it is our best hope for protecting themselves and their loved ones from spending time in our Intensive Care Unit, or even death.

As of May 12, everyone in Missouri ages 12 and older is eligible to be vaccinated. And beginning June 1, all Lake Regional clinics will have dedicated vaccination days each week to make scheduling easier. The schedule and type of vaccine available by location is posted at lakeregional.com/vaccine.

Don’t wait; make an appointment today to get the vaccine. It’s free, and scheduling is simple. If you’ve already been vaccinated, encourage your neighbors and friends to schedule appointments.

Together, we will move forward.

Our Commitment Runs Deep,

Dane W. Henry, FACHE

CEO, Lake Regional Health System