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As Delta Variant Spreads, Health Officials Urge Vaccination

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Jefferson County remains at the yellow level for COVID-19 cases. That means community transmission is still a concern, especially with rising cases of the delta variant worldwide. Louisville public health officials gave updates at a press briefing Tuesday.

In areas where vaccination levels are higher, community spread has decreased.

There have been five cases of the delta variant in Louisville, but officials believe that actual number is much higher.

Delta has become a “variant of high concern.”

“A variant of high concern means it’s more transmissible, that it may be one that spreads more rapidly in the communities that it is currently involved in and documented to be present in,” said Dr. Paul McKinney, a professor and associate dean at the University of Louisville School of Public Health and Information Sciences.

Vaccines currently available to the public offer protection to the delta variant.

In Louisville, marginalized communities and young people are the least vaccinated.

Community leaders and officials are trying to combat this issue, specifically among marginalized communities, through outreach programs. This has included sending immunized people into communities with low vaccination levels to speak first hand about their experience and offer answers to questions residents may have; holding COVID-19 testing and inoculation events and trying to reach the root of vaccine hesitancy issues. 

One such event is taking place inChickasaw Park this Saturday hosted by the Park DuValle Health Clinic and the local NAACP chapter.

Officials offered guidelines Tuesday for those who remain unvaccinated.

“Follow the same precautions as you were doing in winter. Wear a mask, limit outings and avoid gatherings,” said Chief Health Strategist for Louisville, Dr. Sarah Moyer.

Officials also updated guidelines for people who are vaccinated; wear masks when at crowded, indoor locations where they are unsure of others' vaccination status.

The city’s COVID-19 hotline can be reached at 502-912-8598.

Breya Jones is the Arts & Culture Reporter for LPM. Email Breya at bjones@lpm.org.