‘The surge is coming’: Springfield Mayor Ken McClure warns other Missouri cities about Delta variant


Springfield Mayor Ken McClure discusses the Delta variant surge Sunday on Face the Nation on CBS. (Screenshot from CBS video)

With hospitals swamped and hundreds of cases daily from a Delta variant surge of infection, Springfield is a warning of what is ahead for the rest of the state if vaccination rates do not increase dramatically, Mayor Ken McClure said Sunday morning on a national news program.

And McClure defended door-to-door efforts to boost vaccinations, calling the controversy “overblown.”

Speaking on Face the Nation on CBS, McClure said he thought the Delta variant that is causing the massive run up in cases likely came to the city because of its central location for business in southwest Missouri. 

It took hold because of low vaccination rates, he said, blaming social media for spreading misinformation.

“People are talking about fears that they have, health related fears, what it might do to them later in their lives and what is contained in the vaccination and that information is just incorrect,” McClure said. “We, as a society and certainly in our community, are being hurt by it.”

During May, Greene County reported an average of 25 COVID-19 infections per day, according to data from the state Department of Health and Senior Services. During the last seven days of the month, the rate was 35 per day.

For June, the rate was 84 per day and 123 per day in the last seven days of the month. So far in July, the county has reported 183 cases per day, with the rate rising to 206 per day in the seven days through Sunday.

“My message is that the surge is coming,” McClure said. “The Delta variant will be there. It is going to spread, it is already spreading throughout Missouri. Take advantage of this time and get your vaccination rate as high as you can.”

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