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Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 27, 2021
Contact: John Lyon, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645
                Patricia Schnabel Ruppert, D.O., M.P.H., CPE, DABFM, FAAFP (845) 364-2512

COVID-19 DELTA VARIANT CONFIRMED IN ROCKLAND

Get Vaccinated: Protect yourself and others from the highly contagious Delta variant

NEW CITY, NY, - Rockland County Executive Ed Day and County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert urge unvaccinated residents to get vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as possible.

COVID-19 continues to spread in the United States and constantly changes through mutation, with new virus variants expected to occur. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been documented in the United States and globally during this pandemic.

At least four cases of the highly contagious Delta (B.1.617.2) variant were confirmed to be in our community during the second week of July. Cases and the positivity rate in Rockland have increased over the last several weeks, likely due to the Delta variant.

Classified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as a variant of concern, the Delta variant, initially detected in India and first detected in the United States in March 2021, is now the dominant form of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. This variant seems to spread more easily and quickly than other strains, leading to more cases of COVID-19. The Delta variant also impacts younger age groups more than previous strains, as more young people are getting sick and hospitalized with COVID-19. An increase in the number of cases will lead to more hospitalizations and potentially more deaths.

"All COVID-19 vaccines authorized for emergency use in the United States have proven extremely safe and effective at preventing serious illness, hospitalization, and death from COVID-19, including against variants of concern such as Delta. The antibody responses generated from the vaccine are much stronger and more consistent than immunity after a natural COVID-19 infection, making it even more important to get a vaccine, even if you've already had COVID-19," said County Health Commissioner Dr. Patricia Schnabel Ruppert.

Nearly all recent COVID deaths have been in unvaccinated individuals. The CDC is now calling the COVID-19 pandemic a "pandemic of the unvaccinated." Those who are unvaccinated and not practicing public health measures such as wearing a mask indoors, staying at least 6 feet apart, and avoiding crowds, have the greatest risk of becoming seriously ill or dying, which is why the Rockland County Department of Health (RCDOH) urges all eligible individuals to get vaccinated as soon as they are able.

"With recent COVID deaths and hospitalizations nationwide made up almost entirely of those who are unvaccinated, I strongly urge those who have not yet gotten the shot to reconsider and do so now. These numbers are compelling, and we must act to protect ourselves, our family and our entire community from further harm," said County Executive Ed Day.

If you're already vaccinated, please talk to your unvaccinated friends or family about the dangers of the Delta variant and the importance of getting vaccinated before it's too late. Anyone with questions or concerns about the vaccines should talk to their doctor.

To get a vaccine, visit the RCDOH COVID-19 webpage for more information at http://rcklnd.us/covid19. To find a vaccine near you, visit Vaccines.gov and the New York State Am I Eligible webpage. Need assistance, call the Rockland County COVID Call Center at 845-238-1956 from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm Monday – Friday (except holidays).

For more COVID-19 vaccine information, visit the CDC's Myths and Facts at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/vaccines/facts.html.