Increase in local COVID-19 cases coincides with prevalence of Delta variant

Active COVID-19 cases in Denton County are consistently rising slowly for the first time since January, and it appears to be caused by the growing prevalence of the Delta variant.

The Denton County active COVID-19 case count peaked Jan. 29 with 15,387, according to data provided by Denton County Public Health. The number fell quickly until April, when active cases continued to decline but at much slower rate. It reached 1,444 on July 6, but has been slowly climbing back up each day since then, according to DCPH data, up to 1,763 on Tuesday.

Juan Rodriguez, DCPH chief epidemiologist and assistant director, said Wednesday that both the reporting date and onset of disease is on the rise, which “fits along with the trend of the state and the U.S.”

At the same time, the Delta variant has recently become the dominant strain of COVID-19, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The Delta variant can be spread more easily than other variants, and it is taking advantage of low global vaccination rates and eased pandemic restrictions, according to the Association Press. It is not yet known if this variant makes people sicker than previous variants.

The CDC and DCPH continue to urge residents to get vaccinated to slow down the spread of COVID-19. Unvaccinated people should continue to wear masks when around other people and maintain social distancing when possible. The best protection continues to be full vaccination.

“People who are vaccinated have more liberties with things they can do safely than unvaccinated individuals,” Rodriguez said.

Click here for the latest DCPH data. Click here for more information about the Delta variant.

Mark Smith
Mark Smith is the Digital Editor of The Cross Timbers Gazette.

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