BUTTE — COVID cases are spiking in Butte-Silver Bow County, causing hospitalizations and the death of a county resident due to complications caused by the virus.
Butte-Silver Bow Health Officer Karen Sullivan said the death marks the 87th fatality in the county.
"Beginning July 26-27, we noticed an increase. You know we were maybe getting one case a day on average, maybe two, but we’re up to almost six a day which is obviously concerning to us," said Sullivan.
According to the CDC, the delta variant now accounts for 93 percent of all sequenced cases in the U.S.
The variant is rapidly spreading among the unvaccinated population in the U.S. causing new outbreaks.
Sullivan predicts that there will be more cases among the younger population.
"Delta is tending to hit harder and younger, so I do anticipate that," said Sullivan.
The Delta Variant of COVID-19 is 222 percent more contagious than the original virus.
In Butte-Silver Bow, 43 percent of 12-17-year-olds are vaccinated. 58 percent of the eligible population is vaccinated, but Sullivan is worried about those under the age of 12.
"We are concerned about our entire population, but we’re particularly concerned with the delta in play about anyone under the age of 12. They have no choice in the matter," said Sullivan.
Since July 27, 41 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed in the county. Of those, 34 of those cases are active.
Six people, ranging from 35 to 70, have been hospitalized at St. James healthcare with COVID-19.
"We’re seeing more hospitalizations which means people are getting really sick. Of the six people hospitalized at St. James Healthcare, five were unvaccinated. We’re hoping messaging like that will resonate with the public that this is not something you want to fool with." said Sullivan.