Delta variant confirmed in Mercer County

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Bluefield, WV (WVNS) — Mercer County health officials are urging people to mask up and get vaccinated after a confirmed case of the Delta variant was found in the area.

According to the Health Department, the individual is cleared and went through a 14-day quarantine period per Mercer County health protocols. Test results can take up to four weeks to return from the lab, resulting in a delay for health officials to know with which strain people are infected. 

Public health officials are concerned multiple people are already infected with delta in Mercer County.

“Every one of us feel like there’s probably other cases out there and we just don’t know yet,” said Roger Topping, Administrator for the Mercer County Health Department. “If there’s one there’s probably more.”

Topping said one of the best ways to avoid the delta variant is by wearing a mask. The health department is now encouraging everyone to mask up when indoors and outdoors if you are in a large group. 

“You’re exposed through the air and it’s 100-1000 times stronger than the original COVID, so that’s why you need to mask up,” said Topping. “If you have it, you’re making sure you’re not going to give it to someone else. If you don’t have it, you need to mask up to make sure you try everything possible to not get it.” 

Another way to protect yourself against the delta variant: getting the COVID vaccine. COVID-19 vaccination numbers are low in Mercer County; Topping said less than 55 people attended last week’s vaccine clinic. 

“The numbers are not climbing, they’re stagnant right now and I really hope that people will wake up and realize before it’s too late, come and get the vaccine,” said Topping.

Mercer County is holding a vaccine clinic Thursday, Aug 5, 2021 for people to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Topping said variants will be less threatening if more people get vaccinated.

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