Delta variant responsible for sharp rise in infections, hospitalizations

The delta variant, the latest COVID-19 threat to public health, is the predominant strain of the deadly virus in Moore County, and in all of North Carolina, according to Moore County Health Director Robert Wittmann. A spike in cases and a sharp rise in hospitalizations have been reported among those that remain unvaccinated.

That was the bleak news delivered by Wittmann in a presentation to the Moore County Board of Commissioners at their meeting on Tuesday.

“Unvaccinated individuals are driving the increase in cases. More than 94 percent of recent North Carolina COVID cases are in people who are not fully vaccinated,” said Wittmann.

“We will experience a rapid rise in school-aged cases and a related number of quarantines. Clusters of cases are expected throughout the school system,” said Wittmann referring to the upcoming start of school. “There will be a high number of quarantine cases in and out of the school setting.”

Driving the high numbers of children diagnosed with COVID-19 is the lack of an approved vaccine for those age 12 and under.

According to Wittmann, the best action to prevent hospitalizations or dying from COVID is to be fully vaccinated. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 99.9% of Americans who have been vaccinated do not get seriously sick.

The Health Department will continue to offer COVID vaccinations. Appointments can be made by calling the Health Department at 910-947-SHOT (7468). Anyone age 12 or older is eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. Those who are ages 12-17 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian who can provide consent for vaccination.

Booster shots are also being offered to adults that have already been vaccinated.

Sandhills_Sentinel~Article and file photo of Robert Wittmann by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter John Patota.

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