Director of Public Health warns about COVID-19 variants, urges vaccinations

Local News

FILE — In this June 3, 2021 file photo an elderly patient receives a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell, File)

“The COVID-19 variants are in Muscatine County. Those unvaccinated are urged to get the vaccine to stop the rise in COVID numbers.”

That’s the how a news release from Christy Roby Williams, Director of Muscatine Public Health starts out.

“COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the variants that are currently in circulation,” WIlliams says in the release. “So all eligible people are urged to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

“The best way to stop the spread of all COVID-19 virus strains, including the Delta variant, is for unvaccinated people to become fully vaccinated. Getting vaccinated protects against the current virus strains and decreases the chances of a vaccine-resistant variant developing in the future.”

Here’s the rest of the text from the news release:

COVID-19 VARIANTS ARE IN MUSCATINE COUNTY

Those unvaccinated urged to get vaccine to stop rise in COVID numbers

MUSCATINE, Iowa – The best way to stop the spread of all COVID-19 virus strains, including the Delta variant, is for unvaccinated people to become fully vaccinated according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Muscatine County Public Health.

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 are found and quickly disappear. 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.

“COVID-19 vaccines are effective against the variants that are currently in circulation,” Christy Roby Williams, Director of Muscatine Public Health, said. “So all eligible people are urged to get vaccinated as soon as possible.”

The Delta variant (B.1.617.2) is currently the most common COVID-19 virus strain circulating around in the United States, the region, in Iowa, and in Muscatine County. The variant was originally found in India in December 2020, and became visible in the United States during 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 potentially dying from COVID-19 according to national and state statistics.

The best way to stop the spread of all COVID-19 virus strains, including the Delta variant, is for unvaccinated people to become fully vaccinated. Getting vaccinated protects against the current virus strains and decreases the chances of a vaccine-resistant variant developing in the future.

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.

To maximize protection from the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading the virus to others, the CDC urges even those fully vaccinated to wear a mask in indoor public spaces 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. The CDC considers a county to have a high transmission if there have been 100 or more cases of COVID-19 per 100,000 residents or a test positivity rate of 10 percent or higher in the past seven days. Visit https://coronavirus.iowa.gov/ for additional information.

“We urge everyone in Muscatine County to please consider masking up in public indoor locations to increase mitigation efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our county while protecting our most vulnerable populations,” Roby Williams said.

For information and updates related to COVID-19, visit Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) | CDC.

VACCINATION CLINIC AT MUSCATINE AQUATIC CENTER

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic will be offered from 1-3 p.m. Saturday (July 31) in the Community Room at the Muscatine Aquatic Center in Weed Park. Volunteers from the United Way of Muscatine will be assisting Muscatine County Public Health staff to help the clinic run smoothly.

Vaccines are free and anyone can walk-in to receive a vaccination. Pfizer, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson will all be available at the clinic. Insurance is not needed but please bring your identification (ID) with you. Minors (ages 12-17) must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

WALK IN CLINIC AVAILABLE

Muscatine County Public Health, 1609 Cedar Street, Muscatine, offers a walk-in vaccination clinic every Wednesday and Friday. No appointment is needed, no insurance is required, and there is no cost. For more information, contact Muscatine County Public Health at (563) 263-0122. Muscatine County Public Health is open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.

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