Public health officials note COVID-19 surge in Linn County, dominated by delta

Published: Aug. 24, 2021 at 10:17 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Linn County Public Health says cases of COVID-19 are still going up as virus transmission remains high.

One of the big takeaways from a public briefing held by officials from the county department and local hospitals was the prevalence of the more transmissible delta variant. Linn County provides continuous updates on its COVID-19 dashboard. According to the data, there are more than 1,500 active cases in the county.

Of the cases reported this so far in August, 83% are were determined to be the delta variant. New cases, overall, are up nearly 13% from last week.

Also up slightly, those who are getting their first dose of a vaccine. In the first two weeks of August, the percent of Linn County’s population that has started their vaccine series went up more than 1.5% to nearly 58%. 54.5% percent of the county’s population is fully vaccinated.

Linn County Public health said the approval of the Pfizer vaccine could make a difference.

“We’ll wait and see if that increases our vaccination rates, but again, it’s showing gold standard, best practice that the Pfizer vaccine has met the full approval,” Heather Meador, with the agency, said. “It is a safe and effective vaccine.”

As the Food and Drug Administration considers booster shots for the general public, the number of breakthrough cases in hospitals is rising. A couple of weeks ago at Mercy Medical Center, 15% of patients were fully vaccinated. Today, it’s 35%.

Dr. Tony Myers, at Mercy, said the most critically ill are unvaccinated. He said vaccines are still the best tool we have against serious illness and death.

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