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As Delta variant spreads, health officials amplify calls for vaccination

With new infections rising around the country due to the delta variant, reports of breakthrough cases among the fully vaccinated can be worrisome.
Mario Tama
/
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With new infections rising around the country due to the delta variant, reports of breakthrough cases among the fully vaccinated can be worrisome.

With a new wave of COVID-19 infections fueled by the Delta variant striking states across the U.S., health officials in Michigan are amplifying their pleas for people to get vaccinated.

The federal Centers for Disease Control said this week that 33 Michigan counties have “substantial” or “high” rates of coronavirus transmission.

Dr. Jennifer Morse is the medical director for District Health Department Number 10, which covers 10 counties in Mid- and Northern Michigan.

“With the vaccination, your risk of infection is quite low. However, if you did get infected with the Delta variant, you have a very high chance of spreading it to others; our vaccination rates in our communities are still for the most part under 50%.”

Morse said the vaccine remains the most effective way of stopping the virus’s spread, but she still urged everyone to wear masks in public, enclosed spaces -- even if they’re fully vaccinated -- as another line of defense against the Delta variant.

“If one person gets infected, they can now infect several people, whereas, with the other variants, one person may infect one or two people,” Morse said.

She added that in the last month, the number of COVID-19 cases in the United States’ COVID case numbers has tripled, and the amount of Delta variants in the country has doubled.

Morse said the Delta variant is probably more widespread in Michigan than testing has revealed.

“It’s likely that the Delta variant is in most of our counties at this point. But testing levels throughout the state right now are very, very low -- low enough that we’re likely not detecting true levels of the disease in our state.”

Gena is reporting as part of the Michigan News Group Internship. A collaboration between WCMU and eight community newspapers. Gena is based at the Big Rapids Pioneer

Gena is a rising junior at Central Michigan University, double majoring in broadcast and cinematic arts and political science.