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‘Delta’ variant of COVID-19 impacting more coronavirus cases in Indiana

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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) -- One of the biggest concerns facing medical providers is the growing number of new COVID cases with the 'Delta' variant.

A local health commissioner says the rising number of the highly-contagious strain of COVID-19 in the Midwest means we will see an uptick in cases.

"We are seeing every week the Delta variant becoming an increasing proportion of the variants," Huntington County Health Commissioner Dr. Matthew Pflieger said.

He says in our six state area, the 'Delta' variant of the coronavirus now accounts for 21% of new COVID-19 diagnoses.

While it's not the predominant strain of the disease in the Hoosier state yet, he's concerned because it's taking over in states like California and Missouri, where more and more mostly unvaccinated people are hospitalized with COVID.

Indiana may not be far behind.

A local health commissioner says the rising number of the highly-contagious 'Delta' variant of COVID-19 in the Midwest means we will see an uptick in cases.

Dr. Pflieger says most people who wanted to get vaccinated have been, but he believes a significant number of people would if it were easier to get the shot, like from a mobile clinic at their job.

That's why he thinks having vaccine doses at doctors' offices is going to be a big step.

"When the person is able to have that conversation with their doctor and get the shot right there that's a huge win for the patient because they feel like there's that trusted relationship to be able to ask their questions in a really good way," Pflieger said.

He says the vaccines are proving effective against serious cases of COVID-19, and says the more people are vaccinated, the less chance the virus will continue to mutate and spread.

"With the Delta variant, you're more likely to spread it to more people than before. So before you'd spread it to two to three people. With the Delta variant it's definitely like three people, maybe more. And so you're putting other people at risk. And that's what this is all about is how do we prevent the spread from happening, how do we keep people in schools, how do we keep people at work?" he asked.

He says while it feels great to be outside and with other people, you shouldn't let your guard down completely.

"This is a community effort and we're all tired of it, everybody is, but we're fighting a virus, not each other," he said.

Dr. Pflieger says if you're vaccinated and are outdoors, like at a festival, you don't need to wear a mask unless you want to.

However, he recommends that people who haven't been vaccinated wear a mask, especially if they're inside.

Corinne Rose

Corinne Rose is a reporter for WPTA.

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