COVID Delta variant confirmed in Arizona
KINGMAN – Arizona health officials are still keeping a close eye on the state’s coronavirus cases, concerned that the emergence of more contagious versions of the virus could be a cause for alarm.
So far, Arizona has only reported 66 cases of the Delta variant, a strain of coronavirus that was blamed for India’s deadly second wave that killed 350,000 people, according to the Indian Express. The Centers for Disease Control says the Delta variant is concerning because of its transferability compared to other variants of the virus.
The Arizona nonprofit Translational Genomics Research Institute has identified 66 cases of the Delta variant in Arizona as of June 24. It’s unknown how many of those cases, if any, might be in Mohave County, according to Assistant Mohave County Health Director Melissa Palmer.
“Any variant of COVID is a concern in Mohave County as each have the ability to infect individuals and make them sick,” Palmer said.
For those in the county who are fully vaccinated the chances are low of catching the variant as studies have shown that both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccine have a high effectiveness against the new strain of COVID.
“According to Dr. Cara Christ at Arizona Department of Health Services, ‘Research suggests that vaccines are effective against the Delta variant,” Palmer said. “The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been found to be 88% effective at preventing serious illness after both doses, but only 33% effective after one dose.’”
Experts and officials are concerned about how the Delta variant will affect and spread among unvaccinated people. In a press conference last week President Joe Biden warned “The new variant will leave unvaccinated people even more vulnerable than they were a month ago.”
According to data from the Arizona Department of Health Services website, just over 66,000 Mohave County residents – representing about 36.7 percent of the county’s total population – are fully vaccinated.
Palmer says people who haven’t yet been vaccinated should consider getting the vaccine as a precaution. Meanwhile, people who feel sick should stay home and get tested for the virus if experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, she said.
On Friday Mohave County announced that 73 confirmed cases of COVID-19 have been reported between noon on Wednesday, June 23 and noon on Friday, June 25. Of the 73 new cases 32 were logged in the Kingman medical service area.