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Delta variant spreads rapidly across five states as people make plans for the Fourth of July weekend

  • The Delta variant continues to spread across the country, as millions of people plan to gather with family and friends to celebrate the Fourth of July. 
  • Five states are particularly vulnerable to the Delta variant.
  • Those states are Arkansas, Colorado, Missouri, Nevada, and Utah.
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As Americans make plans to celebrate the Fourth of July weekend with family and friends, the Delta variant of the coronavirus is spreading nationwide. 

Five states in particular are among the hardest hit, with the number of new cases rises rising rapidly in those locations. Health officials across these five states attribute the spikes to the Delta variant: 

Arkansas

During a press briefing earlier this week, Cam Patterson, chancellor of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, said more than 25% of positive cases in the state are caused by the Delta variant. Hospitalizations because of the Delta variant have also sharply gone up in Arkansas.

Within the span of two weeks, the Delta variant could become the dominant strain, he said. 

“We have to be concerned that this would be a trend that could continue, and if it does, it would appear that we may be in the beginning of the third surge of COVID-19 here in the state of Arkansas,” Patterson said.

Colorado

Colorado is overall seeing a decrease in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases. But regionally, the Delta variant is causing spikes. 

Mesa County, for example, has had a 34% increase in the in the number of positive coronavirus cases within the last two weeks, according to a COVID-19 tracker from the New York Times.

Getting vaccinated against the coronavirus is “critically important as case counts continue to be at a sustained increase in Mesa County and community transmission of the Delta variant is widespread,” Mesa County officials said in a public health advisory Wednesday.

Missouri

In the last two weeks, the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Missouri has been spiking, largely due to the spread of the Delta variant, health officials said. 

“Unfortunately, the arrival of the Delta variant in Missouri is driving transmission of the virus, and is resulting in increased illness and hospitalization among a younger population and the unvaccinated,” Herb Kuhn, Missouri Hospital Association President and CEO, said in a statement.

Specific Missouri regions like St. Louis County and Los Angeles County are seeing double-digit boosts in average daily cases, according to data from the New York Times

Nevada

Within two weeks, the daily new case average increased by about 114%, Times data shows.  

The Nevada State Public Health Laboratory said it detected the Delta plus variant in Clark County, which is “really just the delta variant with an additional spike mutation that is seen in other variants of concern,” said Mark Pandori, director of the lab at the University of Nevada, Reno, School of Medicine.

Gov. Steve Sisolak said Nevada is seeking federal assistance to mitigate the effects of the variants. 

“We must continue to leverage resources at the federal, state and local level to increase access and confidence and get as many Nevadans protected from this deadly virus as possible,” Sisolak said in a statement.

Utah 

Officials have already identified more than 1,100 Delta cases, according to state government data.

“I want to be very, very clear about what everyone of our staff has told me and that is this is not over,” said Kencee Graves, chief medical officer for inpatient services at the University of Utah, in a briefing. “Vaccine is important, is what we need to end this, but the COVID-19 pandemic is not over.”

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