The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department is investigating the circumstances around the county's first confirmed case of the COVID-19 Delta variant, department officials said Tuesday.

The Delta (B.1.617.2) variant was first found in India and has been identified as a variant of concern as it spreads more easily and quickly than earlier virus variants, according to the Centers for Disease Control

According to department spokeswoman Michelle Shoresman, officials will be investigating the case to find out where the individual contracted the variant and to prevent further spread.

“The Delta variant has been spreading rapidly throughout the world and is quickly taking hold in California,” said county Health Officer Dr. Penny Borenstein. “This is an unfortunate reminder that the pandemic is not over and we must remain vigilant to prevent a surge in disease." 

Currently available vaccines in the U.S. remain effective against the severe impacts of COVID-19 variants, and a two-dose vaccination series is over 90% effective in preventing severe illness from the Delta variant in particular, according to Public Health England. 

Two cases of the variant also were identified in neighboring Santa Barbara County in April, according to county data

For more information about variants in San Luis Obispo County, visit ReadySLO.org

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