8/12/2021 - The Delta variant has officially arrived in Knox County.
Knox Public Health (KPH) has received confirmation that several recent COVID-19 cases have been linked to the Delta variant. The confirmation follows the announcement late last week from the Ohio Department of Health that Delta variant is the main COVID-19 variant circulating in Ohio.
“With the increase in local cases, we suspect there are many more cases involving the Delta variant,” said Starr Roden, RN, communicable disease nurse at KPH. “Not all specimens are sent for the additional testing that identifies a variant.”
Knowing someone is infected by the Delta variant does not affect the treatment, explained Roden, but it helps public health officials explain a spike in cases.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Delta variant is about twice as transmissible as the original virus that emerged in late 2019 and has contributed to a surge in cases throughout the U.S.
Positive cases of COVID-19 have dramatically increased in Knox County with more than 200 cases reported in the first 12 days of August. Comparatively, there were 57 cases for the entire month of July and 22 cases in June.
Of the recently reported cases, over 80 percent are unvaccinated, or the vaccination status is unknown due to non-reporting by the positive individual.
Vaccination remains the top defense against COVID-19 including the Delta variant. Getting vaccinated prevents severe illness, hospitalization, and death; it also helps reduce the spread of the virus in communities. Reducing the spread decreases the opportunity for the virus to mutate and for variants to develop.
Research data demonstrates that COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the Delta variant. Past infection with COVID-19 does not assure protection from the Delta variant, so people who have had past COVID-19 infection are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated.
COVID-19 vaccine continues to be available at several locations in Knox County including KPH and most pharmacies. To make an appointment at KPH, call 740-399-8008. For other vaccine locations, check the Coronavirus page at knoxhealth.com.