Kalamazoo County reports first case of delta variant

Kalamazoo County

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Kalamazoo County says it has confirmed its first case of the delta coronavirus variant.

Delta has been labeled a variant of concern because it appears to be more transmissible that the base strain. The variant is becoming more prevalent across the nation and Michigan has already tracked more than 30 cases, including one in Ottawa County that was announced over the weekend.

The Kalamazoo County Health and Community Services Department says it is conducting contact tracing to isolate anyone who may have been exposed to the delta variant through its single confirmed case. Officials noted there may be additional cases in the region that have not yet been identified.

“The introduction of the Delta COVID-19 variant in Kalamazoo County underscores the importance of continued vigilance to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Dr. William Nettleton, medical director for the Kalamazoo County health department, said in a Monday statement. “Getting vaccinated remains the best defense against COVID-19. Washing your hands, maintaining physical distance when possible, and wearing a mask if you are unvaccinated or feeling unwell will provide further protection against the Delta variant of COVID-19.”

Though Michigan has seen several delta cases, its overall case and test positivity rates remain low. Over the last three days, the state confirmed only about 310 cases of the virus and recorded five virus-related deaths. The positive test rate has been around 1.2% for the last three days. Fewer than 270 adults in Michigan hospitals are confirmed to have COVID-19.

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