Delta variant cases on the rise in Contra Costa County

Bay Area

CONTRA COSTA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — Health officials in Contra Costa County warn that partially or unvaccinated people are more at risk of being infected with the highly transmissible Delta variant.

Contra Costa Health Services deputy health officer Sefanit Mekuria said the Delta variant of COVID-19 has been circulating countywide for a few months.

But health services has noticed an alarming spike in cases over the past two weeks.

Dr. Mekuria says recent sampling shows the delta variant accounts for nearly 50-percent of new infections.

“We do know it is more infectious,” Dr. Mekuria said.

Mekuria said disadvantaged communities of color are being disproportionately impacted by the Delta variant. And that’s because vaccination rates are lower in those communities compared to affluent areas.

Countywide, 73-percent of the population 12-years of age and older are fully vaccinated.

But in Richmond, Bay Point, Pittsburg, Antioch and Oakley — less than 60-percent of those populations are fully vaccinated.

Yet, in Lafayette, Orinda, Alamo, San Ramon and Walnut Creek — more than 73-percent of those county residents are fully-vaccinated.

The county is addressing the disparity by continuing outreach with community organizers and churches.

Mobile vaccination clinics are also making home and office visits for those who book an appointment with health services online.

“If you have at least five people who want to get vaccinated, you can register and we can come to you and vaccinate,” Dr. Mekuria said.

The Centers for Disease Control Prevention says the Delta variant is now the dominant strain in the United States.

Health services says the return of state mask mandates may not be out of the question if case rates continue to spike as expected through the fall.

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