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First death from COVID-19 Delta variant confirmed, unvaccinated account for most deaths


The first death in Washoe County from the more contagious Delta variant of COVID-19 has been confirmed by Washoe County officials.

An additional 34 cases of the variant have also been confirmed, bringing the total number to 51.  

The deceased was a female in her 40s. She had no underlying conditions. She was not vaccinated against the virus.

Nearly all cases of COVID deaths are of people who have not received COVID-19 vaccinations.

Most of the Delta variant cases are occurring in unvaccinated individuals and all of the hospitalized cases have been unvaccinated, according to the Washoe County Health District. There have been nine cases of the Delta variant among fully vaccinated individuals, though.

A majority of the Delta variant cases had symptoms of COVID-19, including cough, fever, shortness of breath, congestion, headache and other allergy-like symptoms.

“If you are showing symptoms of COVID-19, we strongly encourage you to stay home from work or school to isolate and get a COVID-19 test with the Health District,” said Kevin Dick, Washoe County district health officer. “The Delta variant has become the most common COVID-19 variant in Washoe County over the last two weeks and is extremely contagious. The COVID-19 vaccine provides the best protection to you and others around you.

“We strongly encourage all who can to get the COVID-19 vaccine. Those who are not yet fully vaccinated should continue to wear masks in public to protect themselves and others.”

According to the Nevada State Public Health Lab (NSPHL), among samples collected throughout June, the Delta variant was the most common. NSPHL reported 39% of samples sequenced during the month were the Delta variant while 34% were the B.1.1.7, the Alpha variant, that originated in the United Kingdom.

The first Delta case was confirmed in Washoe County on June 15.

The following is a list of confirmed COVID-19 variants of concern in Washoe County since the beginning of 2021 (see Centers for Disease Control and Prevention list of variants here):

  • 258 cases of B.1.1.7 (Originated in UK/Alpha)
  • 51 cases of B.1.617.2 (India/Delta)
  • *10 cases of B.1.417/B.1.429 (California/Epsilon – now a “variant of interest” according to the CDC and not a “variant of concern”)
  • 7 cases of B.1.526 (Iota) and B.1.526.1 (NY)
  • 4 cases of B.1.617.1 (India/Kappa)
  • 2 cases of B.1.1.318 (has a E484K spike protein substitution)
  • 2 cases of B.1.351 (South Africa/Beta)
  • 1 case of P.1 (Brazil/Gamma)
  • 1 case of P.2 (Brazil/Zeta)

According to the CDC, one-in-four cases now are reported as the Delta variant nationwide. The Delta variant appears to be infecting people who are young and not vaccinated.

The COVID-19 vaccine improves protection against the new Delta variant. To schedule a COVID-19 vaccine at the Reno-Sparks Livestock Events Center, go here.

The City of Reno and Reno Fire Department are hosting a COVID-19 vaccine event today (July 1) and July 6 at Greater Nevada Field, home of the Reno Aces. More info here

For updated information regarding the fight against COVID-19 and updated vaccine rates, please see the Washoe County COVID-19 dashboard.

There have been 685 COVID-19-related deaths in Washoe County since March 2020.

Source: Washoe County Regional Information Center

Jeri Chadwell
Jeri Chadwellhttp://thisisreno.com
Jeri Chadwell came to Reno from rural Nevada in 2004 to study anthropology at the University of Nevada, Reno. In 2012, she returned to the university for a master’s degree in journalism. She is the former associate and news editor of the Reno News & Review and is a recipient of first-place Nevada Press Association awards for investigative and business reporting. Jeri is passionate about Nevada’s history, politics and communities.