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Douglas County Health officials raise Delta variant concerns

Published: Jul. 6, 2021 at 5:38 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - The Delta variant of COVID-19 is the most predominant variant in Nebraska, and Douglas County Health Department officials say the vaccine is the best defense against the mutation.

Douglas County officials are encouraging people who have already contracted the virus to get vaccinated.

“The new delta variant has changed us enough that people who’ve had a different variant of COVID in the past are not as protected and are susceptible to being infected again with the new variant, the good news is the vaccines are protective against that,” said Dr. Anne O’Keefe.

Dr. O’Keefe is the Senior Epidemiologist for Douglas County. She says our vaccination rates in the county have slowed but the number of infections is on the rise.

“Last week, we had 115 cases and that was up from before that which was 81 and that’s like a 40% increase in cases. We were kind of expecting that after all these national events that we’ve had the world series and the swim trials and now we have golf with people coming from all over the country,” said Dr. O’Keefe.

The Delta variant has been detected here in Douglas County, the doctors say we need more people to get vaccinated to prevent it from spreading.

“The new variant is much more transmissible. It’s a lot easier to catch it from others so it’s still very important to be vaccinated to protect yourself and protect others. Only 50% of residents of Douglas County are vaccinated so there’s still a lot of people out there that are susceptible to being infected,” said Dr. O’Keefe.

Douglas County plans to conduct more pop-up clinics to get the vaccine out to more people who want it. They also plan to get the vaccine out to more doctors’ offices for people who would like to discuss taking the vaccine with their physician.

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