TheKlickitat County Health Department (KCHD) was notified on July 14 that the COVID-19 Delta Variant has been identified in Klickitat County.

The Delta variant is recognized by the CDC and Washington State Department of Health as a concerning variant because of the high rate of transmission. Based on current information found on the CDC’s variant information website, in addition to being more easily transmitted, the Delta variant has the potential to cause more severe symptoms leading to hospitalizations as well as increasing the risk of death in individuals who are infected. Thankfully, the current research supports that the vaccines available to the public are effective against preventing COVID-19 infections and hospitalizations caused by this variant.

This variant information was gathered through public health surveillance testing for variant strains not for the purposes of clinical or public health management of individuals. As a result, we are not given any information that would allow us to identify the individual that the sample belonged to at this time. Previously B.1.1.7 had been the only variant identified in Klickitat County.

KCHD will continue to respond to COVID-19 with the current course of action. This includes encouraging community members to get vaccinated in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Community members can schedule their vaccinations online through KCHD at https://us1.quickscreen.health/klickitat-county-vaccination#/screening or by calling NorthShore Medical, Skyline Health, or Klickitat Valley Health for a vaccine appointment.  Individuals who are not vaccinated should still wear a mask and everyone should continue good hand washing.