Editor's note: This story has been updated with new information.
The Delta variant of COVID-19 has made its way to Madison County, and according to the Madison County Health Department, is a reason for the rise in cases locally and statewide.
"The Delta variant has been widely spreading across the United States and it is more contagious than other variants. Most new cases of COVID-19 in Kentucky are the Delta variant," said Kelley McBride in a statement from the department.
Dr. Steven Stack, commissioner of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, said from March 1 to July 28, 2021, 94.5% of COVID-19 cases, 91.8% of COVID-19 hospitalizations and 88.8% of COVID-19 deaths were among partially vaccinated or unvaccinated Kentuckians.
This is the most recent information available regarding breakthrough case data.
She shared a specific number of those with the Delta variant could not be determined because not every positive case is tested for the variant, and, due to evolving criteria for testing not every lab can test for the variant.
In addition, nearly 200 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Madison County on Monday afternoon following the previous week's report.
In the Madison County Health Department's weekly social media update, they reported 189 new cases of the coronavirus.
Because of the new rise in cases, the incident rate for the county has climbed to 26.4 cases per 100,000 population, per day. This places Madison County back in the red-zone designation.
Madison County is one of 54 other counties designated as a red-zone, which is an incident rate of 25 or higher.
An orange county has an incident rate below 25 cases per 100,000. A yellow county is the second lowest with an incident rate of 10 or below. A green zone designation is deemed "on track" with one or fewer cases per day.
Monday, July 26, had the highest single-day report of cases with 51 cases reported. Tuesday yielded 25 new cases, with an increase to 28 on Wednesday. Thursday was the second highest single-day increase with 40 cases. Twenty-two cases were reported on Friday, with 14 Saturday and nine on Sunday.
Between July 5 and the 26, 2021, roughly 413 cases of COVID-19 were reported.
At present, the county's vaccination rate stands at 42.39%. This accounts for 38,023 persons in a population of nearly 100,000.
The health department reports this number is really low, being under 50%. They saw this low vaccination rate is another contributing factor to the rise in cases.
"The vaccinations are the best weapon we have against COVID-19 and its variants, McBride told The Register.
According to the state's COVID-19 website, the county has 9,960 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since March of 2020.