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More contagious strain found in Monroe County

WOODSFIELD — The Monroe County Health Department has reported that the delta variant has made its way into the county.

On Tuesday afternoon, the health department announced it had received confirmation the variant is present in the county.

Linda Masters, administrator of the county health department, said she was unsure just how many delta variant cases there are but confirmed there was at least one.

She added that the number is not high; however, she could not specify the exact number of cases as of yet.

Masters said the variant is much more contagious than past versions of the virus.

She said the current positive cases have exhibited symptoms including cough, headache, runny nose, feeling feverish and chills. It is recommended that residents continue to follow safety protocols — especially those who are not fully vaccinated. She urges residents to wear a mask whenever they are indoors and around a crowd of people.

“Please get vaccinated, wear a mask and social distance. Even if you are vaccinated and you’re at a social gathering, it’s good protection to wear the mask and social distance just for your own protection and others. You can still get it, but your symptoms won’t be as bad as someone who is not vaccinated,” she said.

Masters said the county has experienced an increase in coronavirus cases over the past few weeks and is hoping to curb that with more people becoming vaccinated. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 37 percent of the county population is fully vaccinated.. Forty-two percent of eligible residents, ages 12 and older, are fully vaccinated.

Masters said the majority of the county’s positive cases are related; however, officials have not been able to tie it to one specific event or gathering.

“Most of our numbers are associated, they are concentrated. We’re not sure if it was because of one specific event or people being on vacation, but our cases are grouped together,” she added.

As of Tuesday, the county has 18 active cases. It has a total of 1,399 confirmed cases since the pandemic began, 1,341 recoveries and 40 deaths. There are no hospitalizations. According to the Ohio Department of Health, which reports different numbers, the county has 19 active cases with a total of 1,394 cases, 1,330 recoveries and 45 deaths. Monroe County’s transmission level is considered high, according to the CDC.

If anyone exhibits symptoms or feels under the weather, Masters recommends the person take a COVID-19 test as soon as possible. She said at-home tests are available at the health department. To make arrangements to pick up a test, call 740-472-1677.

The next vaccine clinic is set for 9-11 a.m. and 1:30-3:30 p.m. Monday at the health department, located at 118 Home Ave., Woodsfield. Walk-ins are accepted and appointments can be scheduled by contacting the department.

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