(Fargo, ND) -- Cass County, as of Thursday, is now designated as having a high COVID-19 transmission rate. This Centers for Disease Control designation is continuously monitored and updated based on an average of new cases, positivity rate, hospitalizations, deaths, and testing.
Similar to many counties across the nation, Cass County now joins 2469 other US counties with a “high transmission” designation driven by low vaccination rates and a higher transmission rate for the Delta variant. Active COVID-19 cases in Cass County are now at 242 cases, compared to 20 active cases on July 1st. Active cases continue to span all age groups, including children under twelve who are not yet eligible for vaccination.
"Given this higher transmission status, we continue to stress the importance of vaccination to all who are eligible, as the majority of individuals being infected are in the unvaccinated population," said Health Officer for Fargo Cass Public Health Dr. Tracie Newman.
The fully vaccinated rates in Cass County for twelve to eighteen year olds are approximately 40%, nineteen to twenty nine year olds around 43%, with a 50% vaccinated rate in the 30-39 year olds. Ages 40 and older are over 60% and higher as age categories increase.
According to CDC, the Delta variant has become the predominant variant, accounting for over 90% of cases in August. The ND Department of Health also confirms the Delta variant as the likely predominant variant in North Dakota. Important information about the Delta variant includes:
- The Delta variant is more contagious than previous strains, and may cause more than two times as many infections.
- People infected with the Delta variant carry much higher loads than with previous strains.
- The majority of 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.
- In recent weeks, children under the age of 12 have made up a substantially higher proportion of overall infections. A trend that is expected to continue.
In accordance with CDC guidance, Fargo Cass Public Health continues to recommend a layered approach to prevention for the community, including masking in indoor public spaces, regardless of vaccination status, social distancing, adequate ventilation, and hand washing to help control the spread of COVID-19.