August 5, 2021 – Houghton and Gogebic Counties, MI – The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) notified the Western Upper Peninsula Health Department (WUPHD) that the MDHHS Bureau of Laboratories identified the COVID-19 Delta variant in 6 Houghton County and 2 Gogebic County cases.
The SARS-CoV-2 B.1.617.2 or Delta variant is thought to have emerged in India and has since been detected in many countries and states. On June 14, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) classified Delta as a variant of concern due to evidence of increased transmissibility and potential reduction in effectiveness of current monoclonal antibody treatments.
“When a variant is identified or suspected, additional measures take place, such as a strict 14-day quarantine,” said Kate Beer, Health Officer at WUPHD. “A new variant in our community is concerning since it can be related to higher transmission rates. Residents across the jurisdiction are reminded to continue practicing mitigation strategies including mask wearing in public spaces, social distancing, hand washing, and getting vaccinated. These actions help slow the spread of the virus.”
The WUPHD has posted 41 new COVID-19 cases over the past two weeks; 7 in Baraga County, 22 in Gogebic County, 10 in Houghton County, and 2 in Ontonagon County.
With the high transmission rate of the Delta variant, vaccination is more important than ever. Vaccination is currently open to anyone 12 and older. Vaccinations can be scheduled with local providers by calling your local health department office, your physician’s office, or by visiting www.coppercountrystrong.com/vaccine.