COVID variants appear in McPherson County

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By Jessie Wagoner

 

COVID-19 cases remain stable in the county, with only nine active cases currently reported. However, two variants are now present in the community, Alpha and Delta. 

As of press time, of the nine currently active cases, eight are recovering at home and one person is hospitalized. Since the beginning of the pandemic, a total of 3,423 cases have been reported in the county. Of those cases, 89 individuals have died.

“McPherson County COVID-19 variant data is now available,” Shalei Shea, director of the McPherson Health Department, said. “As of this release, there are nine confirmed variant cases. At this time, neither of these identified variants require any additional quarantine or isolation precautions outside of what is already done for non-variant cases.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the Delta variant is listed as a variant of concern due to its increased transmissibility. The Delta variant is known to spread rapidly and has been detected in 96 countries and is continuing to spread daily. The Alpha variant is also listed as a variant of concern by the WHO. This is due to the increased risk of poor outcomes for individuals infected with the Alpha variant.

To prevent the spread of COVID-19, including the variants, people should continue to practice good hand hygiene, avoiding large groups, staying home when sick and wearing a mask if social distancing cannot be maintained. Additionally, COVID-19 vaccines are readily available in McPherson County.

“McPherson County is vaccinating anyone 12 years old and above for COVID-19,” Shea said. “You may call MCHD at 620-241-1753, your local healthcare provider, or pharmacy for an appointment.” 

As of press time, 41.3% of the McPherson County population was fully vaccinated.