First case of Delta variant detected in SLO County

The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department announced on Tuesday that its laboratory has identified the first local case of the Delta variant of COVID-19.

First identified in India, the Delta variant seems to spread more easily and quickly than earlier COVD-19 strains, and it is quickly taking hold in California, health officials say. County officials are investigating the local Delta variant case to better understand how the individual contracted coronavirus and to take steps to prevent further spread of the variant.

“This is an unfortunate reminder that the pandemic is not over and we must remain vigilant to prevent a surge in disease,” County Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein said in a statement. “Get tested if you experience symptoms of COVD-19, get vaccinated, stay home if you are sick and continue good habits like washing your hands often. If you cannot get vaccinated, please continue to wear a mask.”

Vaccines in use in the United States remain effective against severe impacts of COVID-19, including the Delta variant, health officials say. Recent research from Public Health England suggests two doses of the vaccine remain more than 90 percent effective at preventing severe illness from the Delta variant. 

On June 15, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) labeled Delta as a variant of concern, meaning evidence suggests is spreads more easily, causes more severe disease and leads to increased hospitalizations and deaths.