RC COVID UPDATE

COVID numbers are starting to climb again in many parts of the country and Richland County is also seeing a slight uptick in positive cases as well. Fortunately, so far none of the new cases have been diagnosed as the highly contagious Delta variant.

The Richland County Health Department has released COVID-19 statistics for the period of July 14-July 28, 2021.

Neighboring Dawson County, however, has reported and uptick in positive cases, including the Delta, UK and California variants.

The department has announced nine additional cases of COVID-19 and the release of 13 cases. The additional cases brings the total to 1,264 cases with 1,244 of those cases recovered and 18 deaths. There are currently two active cases.

The nine cases included the following:

A male in his 40’s who was not hospitalized. The individual was symptomatic.

A female between the ages of 10 and 19 who was not hospitalized. The individual was symptomatic.

A male in his 40’s who was not hospitalized. The individual was symptomatic.

A male in his 40’s who was hospitalized. The individual was symptomatic.

A female in her 30’s who was not hospitalized. The individual was symptomatic.

A female in her 30’s who was not hospitalized. The individual was symptomatic.

A male in his 30’s who was not hospitalized. The individual was symptomatic.

A male in his 50’s who was not hospitalized. The individual was named as a contact to a positive case and was symptomatic.

A female in her 60’s who was not hospitalized. The individual was symptomatic.

Vaccines for COVID-19 are available during scheduled walk-in clinics each Tuesday from 12:30-3 p.m. Contact the Health Department at 406-433-2207 for more information.

Nationwide, numbers are escalating again and a majority of the new cases are the Delta variant. Thus far, no cases in Richland County have been diagnosed as the Delta variant, which authorities say is much more contagious.

COVID-19 case rates are rising again after a period of decline. COVID-19 cases have increased over 300% nationally from June 19 to July 23, 2021, along with parallel increases in hospitalizations and deaths driven by the highly transmissible Delta variant.

As a result, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued a Health Alert Network Health Advisory about the urgent need to increase COVID-19 vaccination coverage (i.e., the percentage of the population fully vaccinated) across the United States to prevent surges in new infections that could increase COVID-19 related morbidity and mortality, overwhelm healthcare capacity and widen existing COVID-19-related health disparities.

Unvaccinated persons account for the majority of new COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations and deaths. Currently circulating variants of concern, especially the highly infectious Delta variant, are accelerating spread of infection. Unvaccinated and partially vaccinated people should practice all recommended prevention measures until fully vaccinated.

Disparities in vaccination coverage persist across population groups and geographic areas. As of July 23, 2021, 1,856 (63.0%) of the 2,945 counties with available vaccination data have particularly low vaccination coverage, defined here as less than 40% of the population being fully vaccinated. Among the counties with vaccine coverage less than 40%, 36.0% have COVID-19 incidence rates in the high burden level.

While COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States remain effective against infection and severe disease, some infections among vaccinated persons (i.e., breakthrough infections) are anticipated and have been reported. However, the majority of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are occurring among individuals who are not fully vaccinated.

The COVID-19 Delta variant is widely prevalent and more infectious than prior strains. The COVID-19 Delta variant currently accounts for more than 80% of all COVID-19 cases in the United States. Emerging evidence suggests that fully vaccinated people who do become infected with the Delta variant are at risk for transmitting it to others.

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