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SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services has issued a COVID-19 hotspot advisory for several counties in Southwest Missouri.

According to a Facebook post, the advisory covers Greene, Jasper, McDonald, Newton and Barry counties, as well as the City of Joplin and surrounding areas.

MDHSS lists the latest case numbers from the past 14 days:

  • Greene: 2,207 cases
  • Jasper: 430 cases
  • McDonald: 70 cases
  • Newton: 303 cases
  • Barry: 130 cases

According to the post-vaccination rates in Greene (34.2%), Jasper (30%), McDonald (14.7%), Newton (18.4%), and Barry (28.7%) counties are below the state rate of nearly 40%. Experts say at least 70% of people need immunity to minimize spread within a community. According to the Springfield-Greene County Health Department dashboard, 40% of Greene County residents have been vaccinated.

If residents choose not to get vaccinated, they are encouraged to follow these safety precautions:

  • Maintain at least six feet distance from others;
  • Wear a mask when appropriate;
  • Avoid others that appear to be sick;
  • Avoid others if you have COVID symptoms;
  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue; and
  • Wash your hands.