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Delta Variant Now Dominant in Putnam

The DHHR reported Tuesday, August 24, that there were 474 new Covid cases in Putnam since July 23. Most of the new cases are the Delta variant.

Not every new case is subjected to variant testing. The DHHR reported 22 variant test results for the county between July 23 and August 23. All but three of the 22 were the Delta variant.

In statewide testing, the number of positive tests for the Delta variant increased from 100 total on August 1st to 470 total on August 23.

The number of active cases in Putnam increased from 73 to 433 during the one month period. In a like period, July 23, 2020 to August 23, 2021, Putnam’s total Covid cases increased from 132 to 247. Based upon raw numbers the rate of transmission of the virus this year is triple that of 2020.

The transmission rate is actually close to six times greater this year than last year because more than half of Putnam’s 56,450 residents are vaccinated against the disease.

On August 24, the DHHR reported an infection rate of 39.48 per 100,000 population. The infection rate among the unvaccinated is approximately 80 per 100,000 population. The infection rate cannot continue to increase at its present rate. The number of unvaccinated individuals who have not contracted the disease is shrinking. The virus will eventually run out of targets to infect.

There is a date on which there will be too few targets for the virus to maintain its current infection rate. Putnam residents and residents statewide can, through vaccinations, make the date on which the virus becomes unsustainable come sooner, rather than later.

DHHR vaccination data reveals that Putnam residents are responding to the threat posed by the Delta variant by getting vaccinated. Between June 23 and July 23, 924 county residents chose to be vaccinated. That number increased to 1,501 vaccinations for the July 23 to August 23 period.

The DHHR reported Tuesday, August 28, that 60% of residents older than 18 have received at least one vaccine shot. In Putnam County, the percentage of those in advance of age 18 with at least one shot was 63.6%. There remain more than 16,000 residents, 18 and older, who have chosen not to be vaccinated.

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