Residents encouraged to get vaccinated with variant circulating

Staff Report

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Public health departments are encouraging residents to get vaccinated with a more dangerous variant of the coronavirus circulating in the region.

Washoe County on Wednesday reported that 17 residents have contracted the B.1.617.2 variant of concern, known as the Delta variant which originated in India.

El Dorado County officials on Wednesday reported 14 new cases and an additional death, a man 65 years of age or older from the Cameron Park/Shingle Springs/Rescue region. The death is the 117th suffered since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Spokesperson Carla Hass said the variant has not yet been detected in the county.

Over the past seven days, the county has reported 59 new cases.

Of the 17 cases in Washoe, four were hospitalized (three in the intensive care unit) and all were under age 60. None of the hospitalized cases received the COVID-19 vaccine.

According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, the Delta variant of concern is very contagious and is disproportionately affecting younger people. The COVID-19 vaccine is proven to be effective against variants of concern, including the Delta variant.

Health officials are aware of three clusters involving COVID-19 Delta variants. One cluster of nine COVID-19 cases involves Hunsberger Elementary School students, as well as family members and household contacts. A cluster is defined as two or more confirmed or probable cases that are connected to a place within a 14-day period.

Four of the cases are elementary school children and two of those cases have been confirmed to have the B.1.617.2 Delta variant of concern. Two of the other five cases have also been identified as the Delta variant.

The two other clusters are at workplaces in Washoe County and are under investigation.

COVID-19 vaccine appointments are available at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center and can be scheduled at

More options at local pharmacies and elsewhere can be found at

To schedule a vaccine appointment in El Dorado County, residents should visit

About half of all county residents (96,559) have had at least one dose of vaccine and 84,180 are fully vaccinated with both doses.

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