Tourist Spot

Branson Seen As A ‘Hot Spot’ Tourist Destination, Health Officials Worried About Emerging New COVID-19 Variants

BRANSON, Mo. (KY3) – As more visitors flock to the city and new variants of the COVID-19 virus are discovered, Branson is now considered a “hot spot” tourist destination.

Branson and Taney County recently received such a designation based on the CDC’s Community Profile Report’s “Area of ​​Concern” map, meaning these communities could experience health resource limits with a burden. high sustained case.

Kathryn Metzger of the Taney County Health Department said health officials expected a rise as visitors return to Branson before the summer.

Metzger has said on several occasions that visitors feel good, but may be asymptomatic and not be aware of it.

“We are really concerned about these frontline workers who come in contact with them, these people outside of our community who may be asymptomatic bringing this with them or have very mild symptoms,” said Kathryn Metzger.

CoxHealth Hospital Director Karen Kramer said there were also concerns as new variants of COVID-19 made their way into the region.

“We know that there are variants in our area and we know that the variants are more heritable, so this is also another major concern,” said Karen Kramer.

But not everyone feels that way. A tourist said she was not afraid to come to what is now considered a hot spot.

“I feel immune. Otherwise, I will take it back. Everything will be fine, I will survive, ”said Victoria Renaud.

Branson visitor Victoria Ranaud said she was also unwilling to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.

“Even after this trial period and this clinical trial is over, I probably won’t have it,” Renaud said.

“For people who are unable or unwilling or unwilling to be vaccinated, we still strongly recommend the protective measures that were in place previously,” Metzger said.

These include protective measures like social distancing and good hand hygiene.

“And take those precautions to protect themselves in the way they feel they need to,” Metzger said.

Metzger said it was also alarming to see younger patients in hospital due to COVID-19. She encourages anyone interested to register for the vaccine.

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