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Larimer County, CO - Larimer County Health officials are alerting residents to the presence of the highly contagious B.1.617.2 Delta variant of concern in Colorado and Larimer County. To avoid a surge of COVID-19 cases, officials are encouraging eligible residents, including children ages 12 and older, to get vaccinated without delay. Those who are not fully vaccinated should continue wearing masks indoors and practicing social distancing. 

In early May, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) identified the first Colorado case of the Delta variant in Mesa County. The variant has now been identified in 28 Colorado counties, including Larimer. CDPHE estimates that over 50% of COVID-19 cases in Colorado are due to the Delta variant. 

The Delta variant is 40 to 60% more contagious than the Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant that led to a spike in cases and hospitalizations in Larimer County in April of this year. The Delta variant demonstrates higher levels of immune evasion as well. Because the Delta variant is more effective at evading a person’s immune system, any protection from a prior COVID infection will be diminished.

“This means that having had COVID-19 in the past is unlikely to offer protection against this new variant. Getting vaccinated now can significantly improve protection for yourself and for our community,” says Tom Gonzales, Larimer County Public Health Director.

Experts stress that getting vaccinated can provide significant protection against illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19. The mRNA vaccines are effective against the Delta variant, particularly two weeks after both doses are received. Of people admitted to Larimer County hospitals with a confirmed case of COVID-19 (but not necessarily due to COVID-19) during the week of June 6-June 12, 2021, more than 90% were unvaccinated. Current data suggests that getting vaccinated reduces the spread of COVID-19, leading to fewer opportunities for new variants to develop and spread.

“This highly contagious variant is particularly concerning for vulnerable unvaccinated groups, including those 11 years old and younger who can not yet get vaccinated. The more people who get vaccinated, the better we can protect those who are unable to be vaccinated and who have compromised immune systems. Very high levels of population immunity can contain person-to-person transmission,” says Tom Gonzales, Larimer County Public Health Director.

While Larimer County is seeing a small number of breakthrough cases of COVID-19 among those who are vaccinated in our county, the vast majority of cases occur among unvaccinated individuals across all age groups. The case rate among unvaccinated individuals is 9 times higher than the case rate among vaccinated individuals in June. 

Variant data, including a list of all counties known to be impacted by the Delta variant and the number of cases identified, is available on CDPHE’s COVID-19 data dashboard at https://covid19.colorado.gov/data

Larimer County vaccine clinic dates and times can be found at www.larimer.org/covidvaccine or by calling 970-498-5500 during the week. COVID-19 vaccines are free and available to anyone 12 years old and older.

Information about COVID-19 is constantly changing, and the public health response adjusts as more is learned about this virus. LCDHE is encouraging Larimer County residents to view the latest credible information on COVID-19 at www.larimer.org/covid19  or www.CDC.gov/coronavirus. Additionally, residents are encouraged to follow LCDHE’s Facebook and Twitter accounts at @LarimerHealth.

 

 

Published on: 
Friday, June 25, 2021 - 5:01pm
Contact Details:

Kori Wilford
Kwilford@larimer.org
970-222-2847

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