Guilford County Health Officials Warn Of Rising COVID-19 Cases, Urge Vaccinations
The Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services hosted a virtual press conference Wednesday to discuss the COVID-19 delta variant, its ability to spread, and the measures that need to be taken in the county to stop it from getting worse.
Dr. Iulia Vann provided the latest data and urged everyone to get vaccinated. She noted that the delta variant spreads more than twice as easily from one person to another compared with earlier strains, and it’s 66 percent more infectious than the alpha variant that was identified during the spring. Dr. Vann says by August 1, the Guilford County Department of Health and Human Services is anticipating that 90 percent of the new cases of COVID-19 reported are going to be delta variant cases.
“We know that more than 98 percent of the new cases are in individuals that are unvaccinated,” Dr. Vann said. “Delta is also causing vaccine breakthrough infections, but even so, most breakthrough infections are mild, vaccines are working as they should and preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death.”
In the last three weeks, cases in the county have increased by 3 percent, and the department is anticipating it will continue to go up in the upcoming weeks.
Currently, over 20 thousand Latinos in Guilford County have had at least one vaccine dose, just under half of the overall Hispanic population. Some of the efforts to increase vaccination rates that the department is still working on are creating connections between different organizations in the community, continuing to work with the Vax Connect initiative, further implementation of the $25 Summer Card program, promoting lottery incentives, and providing transportation.
Dr. Vann also disclosed that the department is following Centers For Disease Control and Prevention recommendations and will continue to do so.
This story was produced by a partnership between WFDD and La Noticia. You can read this story in Spanish at La Noticia.
Eileen Rodriguez is a reporter for both WFDD and La Noticia through Report for America, where she covers COVID-19's impact in the Latino Communities.
Periodista de La Noticia y 88.1 WFDD, Eileen Rodríguez reporta el impacto de COVID-19 en la comunidad Latina en Carolina del Norte. Rodríguez es miembro del cuerpo de periodistas de Report for America 2021-2022