Covid-19 Cases Increase Again In Mecklenburg County, Delta Variant Discovered In 5 Cases

CHARLOTTE — A new warning from Mecklenburg County health leaders.  The highly contagious Delta Variant is now showing up across Mecklenburg County.  This comes as the number of people getting infected with Covid-19 is rising again.

Mecklenburg County health leaders are also concerned after an outbreak of the Delta Variant at a local shelter.

“All of our numbers are going in the wrong direction,” says Public Health Director, Gibbie Harris.

“Unfortunately, our 7 day average of cases was just reported this morning at 92, that’s an increase since the 14 day average of 74, so our number of cases is going up,” she says.

Hospitalizations are up too in the county, 49 currently.  The positivity rate is just over 5 percent.  3 weeks ago, at least 5 people tested positive for the Delta Variant at the Salvation Army shelter on Spratt Street.

“This variant is much more transmissible that all the previous variants that we’ve been able to identify,” says Dr. Raynard Washington, Deputy Public Health Director.

According to county health leaders, the majority of the new Covid-19 cases are people who have not been vaccinated.

“In terms of our vaccines, we are 50 percent partially vaccinated in Mecklenburg County at this point.  That’s great news, but it’s also not good enough.  The message here is to get vaccinated.  That is what is going to get us out of his pandemic,” says Harris.

The Salvation Army issued this statement regarding safety protocols at the shelter:

“Since the pandemic began, we have worked diligently alongside our partners to keep those under our care, as well as our staff on the frontlines, safe. That includes, first and foremost, working daily with the Health Department to navigate any situation that arises. In the event of positive cases, we continue to work with the Health Department to isolate, quarantine and monitor those individuals.  Over the past year, our facility on Spratt Street has received many upgrades and improvements aimed at creating a safer environment, including the spacing of beds and the addition of more partitions between beds in dormitories. All clients receive mandatory COVID-19 screenings (with a negative test required) prior to moving in, and everyone is offered the vaccine, as well. Masks remain mandatory for all staff and residents. We have also eliminated any congregate gatherings, such as meal service in our dining room. Residents receive their meals in individual containers to eat privately. Moving forward, we are continuing regular testing for our residents, as well as offering regular vaccine clinics.”