Viruses constantly change when they spread from person-to-person and new strains of a virus (called variants) are expected to occur.
• Many COVID-19 variants have been found in the United States and globally during this pandemic.
• Some variants are found and disappear quickly. Other times, new variants stick around and spread. This may occur because the variant is passed from person-to-person more easily, resistant to existing treatments, or resistant to existing vaccines.
The Delta variant (B.1.617.2) is currently the most common COVID-19 virus strain circulating around in the US, the region, in Iowa, and Muscatine County.
• The Delta variant was originally found in India in December 2020, becoming visible in the US in March 2021.
• The Delta variant spreads more easily than other variants which is why COVID-19 cases are increasing in the US and in Iowa.
• The CDC indicates the currently available vaccines are effective against the Delta variant.
For those who get an mRNA vaccine, the second dose of vaccine provides a higher level of protection. Because of this, it is important for people get both doses once beginning this series of vaccines. According to the CDC, if you received the J&J vaccine it is not required for you to receive any additional vaccines.
People who have not been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are most at risk of contracting, being hospitalized for, and dying from COVID-19 as statistics currently show across the US and our state.
• The best way to stop the spread of all COVID-19 virus strains, including the Delta variant, is for unvaccinated people to get fully vaccinated.
• If the COVID-19 virus strains continue to spread from person-to-person, new variants will continue to occur. COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the variants that are currently circulating, so all eligible people are urged to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
• Getting vaccinated protects against the current virus strains and decreases the chances of a vaccine-resistant variant developing in the future.
• According to the CDC, to maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others, wear a mask indoors in public if you are in an area of substantial or high transmission. Muscatine County is considered a high transmission county. https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#county-view
• Muscatine County, please consider masking up in public indoor locations to increase mitigation efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our county, protecting our most vulnerable populations.
For information and updates related to COVID-19, visit Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) | CDC.