First case of COVID-19 Delta variant identified in St. Mary's County

The first case of the COVID-19 Delta variant has been discovered in St. Mary's County, according to the Health Department. 

Officials say the Delta variant is highly transmissible and may be more likely to cause severe illness in individuals. It is expected to become the predominant strain in the U.S.  

The County Health Department is urging all community members 12 and older to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Officials say it is effective against the new variant once a person is fully vaccinated. 

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"It is critical that anyone eligible in our community get vaccinated," said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. "As more people in our community are fully vaccinated, we reduce the likelihood that this new infectious Delta variant will spread in St. Mary’s. Prevention methods, such as wearing a mask, hand washing, and distancing are still important to reducing the spread of COVID-19, especially for those who have not yet been fully vaccinated."

Anyone experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms should get tested immediately. More information on local COVID-19 testing is available here.