NEW YORK POST – St. Louis will reinstate its mask mandate on Monday, as one local health official tries to blame country music fans in Branson, 250 miles away, for rising cases across the state.
“Branson has a lot of country-western shows,” Dr. Marc Johnson of the University of Missouri School of Medicine told the Daily Beast. “No Vaccines. No masks. A bunch of people indoors and air conditioning, tightly packed, listening to music, possibly singing along, i.e. a superspreading event.”
Johnson is responsible for testing the state’s wastewater for signs of COVID, according to the report.
The doctor admitted: “I don’t know that Branson is what seeded the entire outbreak in Missouri. But I always suspected.”
Rural Taney County in the Ozark Mountains, where Branson is located, has witnessed a total of 5,111 confirmed COVID cases and 102 deaths in more than a year and a half since the outbreak began, according to local data.
The city of St. Louis, and surrounding St. Louis County, are among the first major communities in America to issue new mask mandates … READ MORE.
At least 17 COVID cases linked to country music festival, Michigan officials say
BY MITCHELL WILLETTS, JULY 25, 2021
KANSAS CITY STAR – COVID-19 has been identified in at least 17 people who attended the Faster Horses country music festival in Michigan, state health officials said.
The multi-day event, which was held July 16-18, saw crowds gather at Michigan International Speedway to watch some of the biggest names in country music perform.
Now, one week later, the state Department of Health and Human Services is urging attendees to get tested for the coronavirus.
“If you attended the Faster Horses Festival, you may have been exposed to the virus,” the department said in a release.
Of the 17 people known to be infected, several were sick while at the festival, officials warned.
Those who haven’t been fully vaccinated should be particularly wary, officials say, adding to look out for symptoms associated with the virus such as fever, chills, fatigue, loss of taste, difficulty breathing, aches, cough, nausea and vomiting, and diarrhea.
Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS, said:
“Although we have made great progress with vaccination in our state, the virus continues to circulate in Michigan and across the country,”
“Attendees at the festival may have been exposed and are urged to get tested if they are not fully vaccinated or if they develop symptoms.”
As of July 22, nearly 63% of Michiganders 16 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, state data shows. However, the Faster Horses Festival draws fans from all over the nation, and vaccination rates vary significantly from one state to the next.
The country music event came as COVID case counts are once again rising in parts of the nation, and the new virus variant, delta, takes hold, McClatchy News reports. SOURCE.