Delta variant causes COVID cases in Shawnee Co. to quadruple

The highly contagious Delta variant of Covid-19 is confirmed here in Laredo.
The highly contagious Delta variant of Covid-19 is confirmed here in Laredo.(AP)
Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 1:45 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Shawnee Co. Health Dept. says COVID cases in the area have quadrupled and hospitalizations have tripled over the last four weeks.

Officials say for the week of 7/11 to 7/17, weekly cases hit 178 -- which is more than reported for the entire month of June.

Through the four days of reporting this week, 176 cases have been reported.

The Health Dept. says the spike is mostly due to the Delta variant, which they say is 60% more contagious than previous variants.

SNCO Health Officials say the Delta variant is dominant in the area and accounts for 3/4 of all positive tests since June 1, and the majority of those hospitalized due to COVID-19 are unvaccinated individuals.

Unvaccinated individuals also are being blamed for the majority of infected individuals in recent outbreaks in congregate settings.

Since June 1, the Health Dept. says 15 separate outbreaks have been identified and in most cases, the virus was transmitted by someone who was not vaccinated, then continued to spread to others who had not been inoculated.

The Health Dept. says nearly 77,500 Shawnee Co. residents are fully vaccinated and only 91 “breakthrough cases” have been reported -- which is roughly 1 per 1,000 individuals.

Officials say the early onset of the Delta variant has presented as symptoms mistaken for allergies or a common cold before more significant symptoms develop.

Craig Barnes with the Health Department said there are no plans to issue any health orders yet but the health department will continue to monitor COVID trends and encourage vaccinations.

“With the rise of the delta variant the importance of vaccinations is not only to stem the tide now on the cases that we’re seeing but also to stop any emerging variants from forming that’s what the vaccination will help do.”

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