By TOMMY REZAC
St. Joseph Post
Grundy County health officials have confirmed the presence of a COVID-19 Delta variant in a patient.
The Delta variant has been classified as a "variant of concern" due its increased transmissibility and potential for reduced effectiveness of treatments or vaccines.
Grundy County has seen an uptick in new COVID cases in recent weeks. As of Thursday, there were 39 active cases in the county and 24 new cases since last Friday. There have been 44 cases reported since June 4.
Its 20 percent positivity rate is ninth highest among all counties in the state.
The Grundy County Health Department says most of the new cases are in residents under the age of 60, where the percentage of people vaccinated is lower.
About 24.5 percent of Grundy County's population is fully vaccinated, while 27.1 percent of residents have gotten at least one dose.
Three variants have already been confirmed in Grundy's northerly neighbor Livingston County. The Tri-County Health Department and Mosaic Life Care are both awaiting lab results to see if variants are circulating in their areas.
Buchanan County saw 70 new COVID cases between Monday and Thursday and two new virus-related deaths in that time.
Worth County, part of the Tri-County health district, has seen 15 new cases in the last week, and has the highest positivity rate in the state at 32 percent.
Pockets of southwest Missouri have also seen a rise in cases. In fact, the entire state saw a 101 percent rise in cases from June 7-13 - a larger jump than any other state.