A significant number of new COVID-19 cases are being reported across the nation, a trend that is reflected here in Schleicher County.

On Wednesday, July 21st, there were eight active cases reported in Schleicher County with positive tests being reported here at Schleicher County Medical Center and at Shannon Medical Center in San Angelo.

The most recent case reported locally was a woman in her 40s who tested positive at Schleicher County Medical Center. Prior to that, a teenage male and two women in their 20s tested positive in San Angelo. Last week a male in his 50s tested positive.

Dr. Gordy Day, the chief of staff at Schleicher County Medical Center, said one cause for the increased number of cases is that a growing number of people are reluctant to being vaccinated.

Part of that reluctance may stem from the emphasis that some news outlets and internet websites place on individuals who come down with COVID-19 after being vaccinated.

Day notes that while it is true that some people can catch the virus after being vaccinated, the chances are small.

“The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have proven to be more than 90% effective against the virus, including the new Delta variant which seems to be more contagious,” Day said.

The Delta Variant

The Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, was first identified in India in December of 2020. It has spread worldwide since then and is believed to be the cause of latest surge in cases in the United States.

“The Delta variant is significantly more infectious than the first strain we saw here in Texas, but is not more lethal and the established vaccines like Pfizer and Moderna are effective against it,” Day said.

The doctor pointed to a Yale Medicine study published on Monday of this week. It examined the spread of the Delta variant and explored options for combating it. The five major conclusions of the study include:

1. Delta is more contagious than the other virus strains;

2. Unvaccinated people are at risk;

3. Delta could lead to “hyperlocal outbreaks;”

4. There is still more to learn about Delta;

5. Vaccination is the best protection against Delta.

Dr. Day agrees with Yale Medicine’s take on the COVID-19 Delta variant. Vaccination remains the best way to prevent infection and is the best bet for avoiding serious illness or death if you do contract the virus.