COVID-19 Delta variant now dominant strain

Local News

PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) – COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Bay County and the new Delta variant is now the dominant strain in Florida and worldwide.

Weekly COVID-19 numbers have more than doubled in Bay County, with 580 new cases reported from July 8th to July 15th, according to the state health department. This is up from 261 new cases of the coronavirus reported the week prior.

Dr. Neil Kooy, the chief medical officer at Gulf Coast Regional Medical Center, explained how the Delta variant is different from the others.

“What we do know about the Delta variant is that it is more infective, that is people can be infected more easily so the transmission from person to person may be greater,” Kooy said.

Kooy said that over the last three weeks, the number of COVID-19 hospitalizations has increased from 3 to 17. He added that the vast majority of those hospitalized are unvaccinated.

Dr. Rubina Azam, a board-certified pediatrician, said this rise comes as no surprise.

“We had the holiday weekend and then of course we have the very highly transmissible and the very highly aggressive delta variant,” Azam said. “All these factors together are leading to the spike in the cases that we are seeing right now, but we were expecting it,” she continued.

Kooy said that the Delta variant is still very sensitive to the vaccine, and while it may not have 95 percent effectiveness, they are still seeing 85-90 percent effectiveness of the vaccine.

A full list of COVID-19 vaccination sites can be found online at bay.floridahealth.gov

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