Joplin community leaders gather to spread awareness about Covid-19 vaccines

JOPLIN, Mo. –The Joplin area is once again finding itself in the midst of the pandemic.

That’s why Access Family care in Joplin hosted a community health collaborative in partnership with Southwest Missouri Democrats to hear from local schools, hospitals, and officials.

“That our hospitals are full, that is indeed the truth, we do not have the capacity to keep our friends, neighbors our family members here at our local hospitals when people need that acute care, we are having to transfer those individuals hours away, so then where is the ability for you to support your loved one if they can’t stay here for the care that they need,” said Dr. Tracy Godfrey, president of Mercy’s Joplin Clinic.

Local school districts were in attendance and shared their message of keeping their students safe.

“We all share this feeling that we want our communities to get vaccinated, be safe…our kids will be back in school in about three weeks and we’re planning on doing everything we can to keep them safe like last year,” said Dr. Phillip Cook, superintendent of Carl Junction Schools.

Joplin mayor pro-tem Keenan Cortez was also a speaker and says that while he cannot speak for the city council, that they are keeping a close eye on the number of cases.

“We still have our reopening plan on the table but at this time, I don’t believe there’s any plans to do anything other than what we’re currently doing,” Cortez said.

One Joplin man in attendance, Jim Stone, was not a part of the panel but wanted to attend to share why he encourages more people in the area to get vaccinated.

“Like so many of our friends and neighbors we also have elderly parents who are at risk and I have now a one-year-old granddaughter who is my first grandchild and because of the pandemic I have only been able to see her two days in January until this last weekend when I traveled to Indiana for her first birthday, and it’s because of the vaccines that I could spend four days with her then,” Stone said.

On Thursday, August 5th Access Family Care in Joplin will host a free Vaccine Clinic from 11 am to 5 pm. Next-Gen Diagnostic Services will host a free Covid-19 testing clinic outside of the building as well.