Wadena County rated at substantial level community transmission for COVID-19
The delta variant is causing 95% of cases in Minnesota as of Aug. 13.
With 31 additional cases of COVID-19 in Wadena County from July 15 to Aug. 12, Wadena County Public Health director Cindy Pederson updated commissioners about the delta variant on Aug. 17. She shared information and recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention .
“What’s really interesting about this variant is how quickly it became the predominant variant just in a matter of weeks,” Pederson said.
Variants are expected changes to the virus that have factors such as the coronavirus spreading easier or causing worse symptoms. Of the COVID-19 variants there are ones of interest and concern, as Pederson said. The delta variant is one of concern. There are four variants of concern in the United States, according to the CDC.
The delta variant is causing 95% of cases in Minnesota as of Aug. 13. Here are some key facts about the delta variant from the CDC:
The variant spreads twice as easily from person to person.
There are higher viral loads, or amounts of the virus, in delta variant cases.
There are cases of breakthrough infections in vaccinated people due to the rise in delta variant cases.
New research shows vaccinated people who have the delta variant can possibly spread the virus .
Minnesota’s rate of breakthrough cases is 0.240% with 2,989,353 people vaccinated as of July 18, according to the Minnesota Department of Health. Pederson said 99.8% of people vaccinated have not had a breakthrough case. The goal of the vaccines, which is to prevent hospitalizations and death from the illness, are working.
With the substantial level of cases in Wadena County, masks are recommended for indoor settings whether people are vaccinated or not. Pederson expects the county to increase to the high level. The transmission levels are low, moderate, substantial and high. Masks are required for all persons in courtrooms and deliberation rooms.
The CDC transmission level is based on the amount of new cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days in the county and the percent of positive tests over the last week. MDH used a similar rate for helping schools determine their learning model last year. The levels highlight what is happening at the community level for guidance on masking and other pandemic guideline decisions.
If you are not feeling well or have been exposed to a person with a positive COVID-19 case, you can request a free saliva test through the state at learn.vaulthealth.com/state-of-minnesota/ .