VIRGINIA CITY, Mont. - The Madison County Public Health Department announced they received notification from the Montana Public Health Laboratory confirming the Delta variant of COVID-19 has been identified in Madison County.

The health department says they immediately reported this information directly to local health care and long-term care facilities while continuing to investigate the case.

“This variant is believed to be the most transmissible of all known variants previously monitored by the WHO and CDC,” the Madison County Health Department said in a release. “Data collected from India and the UK support evidence this strain is more likely to result in severe illness and require hospitalization.”

Those who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 are significantly less likely to require hospitalizations, or suffer severe illness as a result of contracting this strain the health department said.

People who have gotten the first dose of the Moderna or Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines benefit from some immunity, but they will need to complete the second vaccination to reach the level of cellular immunity required.

Anyone who would like to receive the COVID-19 vaccine is being encouraged to call the Madison Valley Medical Center at 406-682-4223 or the Ruby Valley Medical Center at 406-842-5453. If a vaccine is needed for children ages 12 and older, you are asked to call Madison County Public Health at 406-843-4295.

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