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COVID delta variant detected in Delta County

PHDM also says the Delta variant has previously been identified in Dickinson, Marquette, Houghton, and Gogebic counties in the Upper Peninsula.
Coronavirus Delta variant graphic.
Coronavirus Delta variant graphic.(WBRC)
Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 4:22 PM EDT
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DELTA COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - Public Health Delta & Menominee Counties (PHDM) has been notified that a positive COVID-19 specimen submitted from Delta County was confirmed to be caused by the COVID-19 Delta variant.

PHDM also says the Delta variant has previously been identified in Dickinson, Marquette, Houghton, and Gogebic counties in the Upper Peninsula. Available sequencing data indicates that the highly contagious Delta variant is the dominant COVID-19 strain spreading in Michigan.

On July 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated their recommendation for mask wearing. To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others, the CDC recommends everyone – including fully vaccinated individuals – wear a mask indoors in public if in an area of substantial or high transmission.

In addition, the CDC is also recommending indoor face masks for all teachers, staff, students, and visitors to K-12 schools, regardless of vaccination status, indicating that children should return to full-time in-person learning in the fall with layered prevention strategies. Indoor masking for all in K-12 schools aims to reduce transmission of COVID-19, prevent student and employee absenteeism due to illness and quarantine, and promote a healthy, in-person learning environment.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and PHDM fully support and endorse the new CDC recommendations.

Delta County is now classified at the substantial community transmission level with a case rate of 58.69 per 100,000 persons and a test positivity rate of 6.29%. Menominee County is also classified at the substantial community transmission level with a case rate of 61.46 per 100,000 persons and a test positivity rate of 6.8%. Neighboring Upper Peninsula counties have also met the substantial threshold.

PHDM has recently identified outbreaks associated with social gatherings, religious services, congregate living facilities, and workplaces.

Public Health, Delta & Menominee Counties recommends face mask wearing for all individuals – fully vaccinated and unvaccinated – while indoors in public. Given the community transmission status change, the health department also encourages schools and businesses to consider the latest public health recommendations when determining risk mitigation strategies for employees and clients within buildings.

A layered prevention strategy should be followed to ensure a healthy environment, allowing all Delta and Menominee County residents the best chance to remain healthy and physically present at work and in the classroom setting. Such strategy should include the following risk mitigation measures:

  • Receive the COVID-19 vaccine, if eligible
  • Wear your face mask while indoors
  • Wash your hands frequently
  • Maintain a distance of six feet from others
  • Enhance ventilation systems within buildings
  • Stay home when sick and get tested for COVID-19
  • Adhere to isolation if you test positive for COVID-19 or quarantine if considered a close contact

“The Delta variant of COVID-19 is highly contagious and increases the risk of illness and outbreaks. That is why a layered protection strategy is once again needed to help stop the spread of the virus. Vaccination remains the best tool to prevent COVID-19 infection, severe disease, hospitalization, and death,” said Mike Snyder, Health Officer.

Public Health, Delta & Menominee Counties offers free COVID-19 vaccines at both the Delta County office and Menominee County office for residents 12 years of age and above. In Delta County, call (906) 786-4111 to schedule your shot. In Menominee County, call (906) 863-4451.

PHDM offers Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson brand vaccines.

“We understand the frustration brought on by the length of the pandemic and with the changing recommendations. As more is learned about the virus and the new variants, we must change our recommendations accordingly. We know that the COVID-19 vaccine is safe, effective, and the best defense against the virus. We encourage community leaders, businesses, and schools to join us in urging all residents to get vaccinated,” said Snyder.

Learn more about the coronavirus and variants from the CDC or PHDM.

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