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Delta variant of coronavirus spreading in Mesa County

The variant now accounts for about 90% of COVID-19 cases in the county
Mesa County Public Health is located in Grand Junction, Colo.
Mesa County Public Health is located in Grand Junction, Colo.(KKCO/KJCT)
Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 6:47 PM MDT
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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO) - The Delta variant of COVID-19 continues to spread in Mesa County. According to Mesa County Public Health, officials have now documented more than four hundred cases of the variant.

MCPH also explained that more than 90% of documented COVID-19 cases in the county are the Delta variant. Colorado State Epidemiologist Dr. Rachel Herlihy previously said that this variant is more transmissible than previous variants.

Jeff Kuhr, Ph.D., MCPH Executive Director, detailed how, “The predominant strain of COVID is the Delta variant, and... it’s more contagious, and we’ve seen more outbreaks, as always the symptoms are very mild for most.”

According to Kuhr, he’s seeing about 40 new COVID-19 cases a day. He explained that some people may also be mistaking COVID-19 symptoms for colds or allergies. Kuhr also said that Mesa County has seen some breakthrough cases of the virus in vaccinated individuals. Those cases were more common with the elderly population. ”Like any other disease that we work with, influenza most notably, when you get the vaccine, it does lessen the severity of the illness. Now we know with the delta variant that the Pfizer vaccine was shown in a study to be 88% effective.”

Community Hospital has seen a significant increase in COVID-19 patients recently.

The hospital’s Chief Medical Officer Dr. Thomas Tobin said that vaccinations are effective in preventing infections. In cases where infections do break through, however, it is also effective in preventing hospitalizations.

Dr. Tobin encouraged the public to, “Get vaccinated. This is how we got through smallpox and polio. And, we just need to get more people vaccinated to work through this. The vaccine has been proven safe. It’s effective. Just please. For yourself, for your family members. And for the health care workers.”

Community Hospital says that their policies restricting the number of visitors allowed had started to be relaxed when administrators saw case numbers going down. When case numbers started going back up, however, those previous policies were put back into place.

Case investigations and contact tracing remains an ongoing effort at MCPH, which said that it is important to get as much information as possible on the source of infections.

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