Marshall County listed as high transmission area

The Delta variant of the coronavirus has begun to cause a rise in COVID-19 cases across the United States in the month of July, and Marshall County is not unscathed.

According to data collected by the state of Iowa and the New York Times, the state of Iowa has experienced a 137 percent rise in COVID cases in the past 14 days. The Des Moines Register reported that hospitalizations in Iowa were up to 157 as of July 28, up 56 from the 101 reported on July 21. The state averaged 308 new cases per day from July 21 to 28, according to the same report.

This information followed the new CDC guidance suggesting that vaccinated individuals wear masks in indoor settings if living in areas with “high” or “substantial” spread of the virus. Thanks to an update of CDC data through Friday, Marshall County was classified as an area with “substantial” spread of COVID-19. As of Saturday, the CDC bumped Marshall County up to a high transmission area.

With cases on the rise and a new, more contagious variant the dominant strain in most of the United States, Marshall County Public Health Director Pat Thompson was clear in her messaging.

“We’ve been saying all along that this could happen if it has,” Thompson said. “Until we get a lot more people vaccinated, we’re just going to keep going around and around and around with this, as we can see now.”

Thompson said getting vaccinated is as important as ever with the new Delta variant, and added she had been consistent in warning about spikes in cases.

Vaccination rates in Iowa need to improve, Thompson said, and while saying “we respect that” some people will not get the COVID vaccine, the current rate in Marshall County — 51.2 percent fully vaccinated — and Iowa as a whole — 46.9 percent fully vaccinated — is a big part of why these spikes are happening.

“That’s what it’s going to take to end this,” Thompson said. “I would recommend people don’t hesitate to call me if they want to talk about it.”

Wearing a mask indoors and social distancing, even if vaccinated, are things Thompson recommended in order to help alleviate the spread of the virus.

Contact Noah Rohlfing at 641-753-6611 or nrohlfing@timesrepublican.com.


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