Larimer County Health Officials Strongly Recommend Residents Wear Masks in Indoor Settings as COVID-19 Increases 

Due to the rapidly increasing threat of the Delta variant, primarily among unvaccinated people, Larimer County Health officials are calling on unvaccinated residents to make the decision to get vaccinated without delay. Additionally, officials are strongly recommending that all community members, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, wear masks in public indoor settings to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

“There are simply not enough people vaccinated yet and wearing masks in public indoor settings is an additional step we can all take to reduce the spread of the virus,” says Tom Gonzales, Larimer County Public Health Director.

The B.1.617.2 Delta variant is now the predominant strain of the virus spreading in Larimer County. Many residents have reported not knowing where they were exposed, indicating a high level of community transmission. In addition to being more contagious than previous variants, some data suggest the Delta variant might cause more severe illness than previous strains in unvaccinated persons. 

  • In just the past two weeks, the seven-day case rate has doubled while the rate of positivity has also jumped above 7% in Larimer County. 
  • Of Larimer County residents admitted to the hospital with a confirmed case of COVID-19 from May 1 to August 9, 2021, 85% were unvaccinated and 3% were only partially vaccinated. 
  • The COVID-19 vaccines authorized in the United States are highly effective at preventing severe disease and death, including against the Delta variant, but no vaccine is 100% effective. 
  • Some fully vaccinated people will become infected (called a breakthrough infection) and experience illness. For such people, the vaccine still provides strong protection against serious illness, hospitalization, and death.
  • Some data show that vaccinated individuals who experience a breakthrough case caused by the Delta variant may be able to transmit the virus to others. This data prompted the CDC to recently recommend mask-wearing indoors for everyone, including those who are vaccinated.

 

“The COVID-19 vaccine data continues to demonstrate that the vaccines are overall safe and effective even against the variants currently circulating. In fact, they are now recommended for use during pregnancy based on data supporting their safety and effectiveness in pregnant patients,” says Paul Mayer, MD, Medical Officer Larimer County.

“The impact of the Delta variant is setting us back. Larimer County is once again experiencing a high case rate and, unfortunately, increasing hospitalizations. Vaccination and masking are the best tools that we have for turning things around and ending this surge,” says Tom Gonzales, Larimer County Public Health Director.

Variant data, including a list of all counties known to be impacted by the Delta variant and the number of cases identified, is available on CDPHE’s COVID-19 data dashboard at https://covid19.colorado.gov/data

Larimer County vaccine clinic dates and times can be found at www.larimer.org/covidvaccine or by calling 970-498-5500 during the week. COVID-19 vaccines are free and available to anyone 12 years old and older. Walgreens locations throughout Colorado also offer free testing in most of their locations. 

Information about COVID-19 is constantly changing, and the public health response adjusts as more is learned about this virus. LCDHE is encouraging Larimer County residents to view the latest credible information on COVID-19 at www.larimer.org/covid19  or www.CDC.gov/coronavirus. Additionally, residents are encouraged to follow LCDHE’s Facebook and Twitter accounts at @LarimerHealth

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