Two Cases Of Delta Variant Identified In St. Joseph County So Far
St. Joseph County health officials say two cases of the highly contagious Delta variant have been identified in the county so far.
At the most recent board of health meeting Wednesday, Deputy County Health Officer Dr. Mark Fox said those two cases occurred back in May. He said there’s a significant lag time between when the state samples cases and when a variant case is reported.
“It’s a minimum of two weeks, but more realistically, it’s six weeks,” Fox said. “So when we get the report of a variant, we know what ancient history was.”
Fox said the county hasn’t received any new reports of Delta cases over the last two weeks. But with increased summer travel and relaxed masking guidance, he said he expects an increase in cases “right as we start back to school.”
“The vast majority of students will not be vaccinated as we go into the school year, and if the Delta variant gets a foothold here, it will have a profound impact on populations that are significantly unvaccinated,” Fox said.
According to the county’s COVID-19 dashboard, less than 15 percent of county residents age 19 and younger are fully vaccinated. Only Hoosiers age 12 and older are eligible for vaccination, and vaccination rates vary widely by zip code.
Fox said that pandemic guidelines are set by each individual school district, but the CDC, state health department and local health department are all advising anyone who is unvaccinated – including children – to continue wearing a mask.
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