The variant, first detected in India in October, was upgraded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week from a “variant of interest” to a “variant of concern.” CDC estimates delta variant accounts for about 10% of new cases in the United States
Missouri had the highest percentage of delta variant with 6.8% of cases reported as of May 22, the latest CDC data.
CDC data shows high community transmission in rural Missouri and Kansas – areas already struggling with slow vaccination rates.
In southwest Missouri, the number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations has increased.
Kendra Findley, administrator of community health and epidemiology for Green County, said random testing of virus samples showed an increase in cases of the delta strain.
“It shows us that what we have in the community is a much more infectious variant that we have to deal with, which shows why we have such an explosion of cases not only in Greene County, but in the Southwest. from Missouri, ”she said. says the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
The Missouri Department of Health and Seniors’ Services issued a press release on Wednesday saying the state “is seeing an increase in the number of individuals contracting the Delta variant,” while urging residents to get vaccinated.
Missouri now leads the country with the most new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 population in the past seven days, according to the New York Times tracker.
Mercy Hospital Springfield has launched a social media appeal for Missourians to get vaccinated, painting a grim picture of the crisis unfolding in area hospitals.
“The bed capacity is limited. The waits in the emergency room are long. COVID patients are younger, sicker and unvaccinated. Vaccines are free, available and effective. What are you waiting for? 82? 102? 152? And 1? 1 person close to your heart? You? “Wrote Erik Frédéric, Administrative Director of Mercy’s Administrative Director.
In Missouri, 43.4% of the population started the vaccination and 37.7% completed the vaccination, according to state data.
The delta variant is also becoming a source of growing concern in neighboring Kansas.
“CDC estimates delta accounts for around 10% of new cases [in Kansas]”said Amanda Cackler, director of health system quality and safety at the University of Kansas in Kansas City, Missouri, a subsidiary of ABC KMBC.” We have had and continue to have patient deaths who have had COVID-19. Our most recent was on June 12. “
In Kansas, 43.6% of the state is vaccinated with one dose and 37.6% is fully vaccinated, according to the state department of health tracker.
Officials, including CDC director Dr Rochelle Walensky, said COVID-19 vaccines protect against all variants and the best way to protect yourself from the delta variant is to get vaccinated.
The pressure is greater than ever to vaccinate more of these rural populations.
“Our biggest concern is really that we’re running out of weapons, so we’re really trying to put people in situations where they can get vaccinated because we have a lot of stocks,” Cackler told KMBC.
The CDC has identified two regions – the Midwestern and Mountain West states – as having the highest estimated percentages of new cases of delta variants. In the Midwest, which includes Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska, the delta strain accounts for 23.5% of all cases, the CDC reported.
Overall, the delta variant has been reported in more than 80 countries, according to the World Health Organization.
Walensky warned on Friday that the variant may soon become the dominant strain in the United States.
“I think it probably will be,” Walensky told “Good Morning America.”
Nationally, 53.1% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of vaccine and 44.7% are fully vaccinated, according to CDC data.