McAlester News-Capital

McAlester News-Capital office

THUMBS UP to everyone in the area getting jabs.

Regional/Pittsburg County Health Department Administrator Juli Montgomery told us 41.6% of Pittsburg County residents eligible for immunization against COVID-19 received at least one of the vaccinations as of early July. That number rose from 31% in early June.

But we need more people to get the shots if we’re going to curb another wave.

Oklahoma saw a rise in new daily cases earlier this week and the Delta variant is spreading quickly in neighboring Missouri.

Like we’ve said from the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, this has never been about fear — it’s about being smart.

Everyone is free to do their own research and has the right to forgo the vaccination. Many have argued that we are wrong in telling people to get the shot and those people are certainly entitled to their own opinion. 

But medical experts and data prove the naysayers wrong.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19, but no vaccine is 100% effective.

That means some vaccinated people might still get sick — like with a flu vaccination — but it still drastically reduces the chance of COVID-19 spreading.

Oklahoma’s first confirmed case was announced March 6, 2020, and the seven-day average for new cases peaked at 4,170 Jan. 12, 2021

The state’s seven-day average was 532 as of Thursday, with Pittsburg County registering in the green with 1.3 new cases per day.

But neighboring Pushmataha County came in the orange phase at 15.3 new cases per day — with Latimer County in yellow at 12.8, Coal County in yellow at 13, Atoka County in yellow at 10.4, Hughes in yellow at 3.2, and McIntosh County in yellow at 9.5.

About 39% of Oklahomans received at least one dose of the vaccine as of Wednesday with almost 50% of adults fully vaccinated statewide.

Six more Oklahomans died of COVID-19 since July 14. More than 8,000 people in our state have died of COVID-19 in total.

Let’s work together to slow the spread and get vaccinated.

•••

THUMBS UP to everyone in the Miss McAlester competition set for Saturday.

Miss McAlester Director Jeanie McCabe said the COVID-19 pandemic presented challenges for the organization with cancellations, changes and more — but she and competitors are grateful to be back at it this year.

“We are here to find the perfect girl to represent McAlester,” McCabe told us. “And we want to get all the girls that compete more confidence in themselves as they grow up into community leaders.”

This year’s competition is set to start at 7 p.m. Saturday at S. Arch Auditorium in McAlester. Tickets cost $12 for reserved seating and are available at Chaney-Harkins or available at the door.

McAlester’s contest is closed to a 40-mile area because “we feel like our representative needs to be from here,” McCabe said, referring to competitions with open registration for anyone to compete.

The local contest provides a scholarship to every competitor — with Miss McAlester getting a $1,500 scholarship, and Miss McAlester Outstanding Teen getting $1,000.

The organization contributes to our community and helps young women build confidence and grow into our future community leaders.

We thank everyone involved and encourage everyone to show support.

McAlester News-Capital Editorial Board

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