Delta Variant Confirmed In CDHD Region
The Delta variant of COVID-19 has been confirmed in the Central District.
“We have received confirmation of several cases of COVID-19 in our district caused by the Delta variant,” Teresa Anderson, Health Director of the CDHD, said. “We also are seeing an overall increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and are sending tests of hospitalized patients to the Nebraska Public Health Lab for variant testing.”
The Delta variant is at least 40% more contagious than the original COVID-19 strain and is considered a “variant of concern” by the Center for Disease Control. Those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 are at low risk of contracting the virus or spreading it to others. As of July 13th, around 33% of eligible Central District residents were vaccinated.
“At this time, the Delta variant is very unlikely to infect those who are vaccinated against COVID-19 which is mainly our older population,” Anderson said. “We know that a majority of our younger population remains unvaccinated, with those under age 12 not yet eligible. Unfortunately, this is an environment of high risk where the Delta variant can easily spread. To add to our concern, viruses mutate to stay alive. The more virus we have present in our community, the greater the risk that variant viruses may become resistant to our current vaccines.”
The Delta variant makes up a majority of new COVID-19 infections in the United States and spreads more easily and can lead to more severe cases in certain populations according to the CDC. The best way to avoid risk of serious illness from the variant is to get vaccinated.
One outbreak, taking place at a Grand Island business amongst unvaccinated employees, is very concerning, Anderson said. She urged anyone who has traveled to hot spots like Missouri, Wyoming, Arkansas, Nevada and Louisiana where the Delta variant is rapidly spreading to get tested if they develop even mild symptoms.
Those who are eligible and have not yet been vaccinated should seek vaccinations as soon as possible. Vaccinations are available at CDHD on any weekday between 8:00am and 4:00pm, and on Thursdays from 8:00am to 8:00pm. Minors under age 19 need parental or guardian consent to receive their vaccinations. For more information call (308) 385-5175 or visit our website, www.cdhd.ne.gov.