Delta variant of COVID kills two, leaves four hospitalized in Manatee County (includes video story)

The Delta COVID-19 variant could soon dominate the United States. The variant has been seen in nearly every state and health experts are worried.

Steve Edwards, President and CEO of CoxHealth, says his firm never imagined such a big increase in cases before Delta. “Maybe three or four weeks ago it was maybe 10% of those isolates that were sequenced, and as of last week it appeared to be 90%,” he said.

Edwards says the firm has seen a six-fold increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations. A lot of patients, he says, are younger and sicker.

The CEO says low vaccination rates provide kindling and that his staff is exhausted. “Almost all of our cases are unvaccinated people,” he said “It’s harder to know that you’re risking your well-being for someone who chose not to vaccinate and put you and them at risk.”

In Manatee County, Florida, two people are dead and four were hospitalized after a COVID-19 outbreak at a government office building. One person who worked in the same IT office did not catch the virus– that person was vaccinated.

Manatee County administrator and epidemiologist Scott Hopes worries the Delta variant could be to blame. “The clinical presentation gives me concern that we’re dealing with a very infectious variant that is quite deadly,” he said.

According to a new study by scientists at Helix, the Delta variant is growing faster in counties with low vaccination rates. This is one concerning factor putting Delta on track to become dominant.

Helen Acevedo is an FIU student majoring in broadcast media with a minor in political science and international relations. She is passionate about giving people a platform to tell their truths.