FCPH Issues New COVID-19 Recommendations Due to Delta Variant Spread

(Fargo, ND) -- On July 27th, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released updated guidance that stresses the importance of COVID-19 vaccination, addresses new masking guidelines in certain areas, and provides guidelines for safely returning to schools.

In accordance, Fargo Cass Public Health encourages the community to follow these recommendations to slow the spread of COVID-19, predominantly the Delta variant.

Cass County, as of July 31st, is now designated as having a substantial COVID-19 transmission rate. In counties with a substantial or high transmission rate, residents are recommended to wear masks in indoor public settings; this includes those who are fully vaccinated. This designation is continuously monitored and based on new cases, positivity rate, hospitalizations, deaths, social vulnerability index, and testing.

According to CDC, the Delta variant has most recently surged to become the predominant variant, from less than 1% of cases in May to over 80% of cases in July. Important information about the Delta variant:

  • The Delta variant is 200% more transmissible compared to previous strains of COVID-19.
  • New data shows that people infected with Delta have up to 1000x higher viral loads, meaning they carry more virus in their nose, than with previous strains.
  • Virtually all hospitalizations and deaths continue to be among the unvaccinated.
  • Though rare, vaccinated individuals who become infected can spread the Delta variant to others. Most “breakthrough infections” are mild, meaning the vaccines are effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalizations and death.

FCPH also recommends CDC guidelines for K-12 schools, including universal masking for all teachers, staff, students and visitors, regardless of vaccination status and community transmission rates. At this moment, COVID vaccinations are critical as infections are increasing at a faster rate than vaccinations.

The fully vaccinated rates in Cass County for twelve to eighteen year olds are approximately 30%, and nineteen to thirty nine year olds are below 50%. Additionally, a significant portion of students are not eligible for vaccination as the vaccine is currently only available for those twelve years and older.

FCPH offers free COVID-19 vaccine at the main location each Tuesday during walk-in clinics and also by appointment Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

For information on vaccine availability in our community, click here. 

 Additional information is available here.