Health officials in St. Mary's County, Maryland, say they have confirmed the first case of the Delta variant of the coronavirus in the county.
The highly transmissible strain can cause severe illness, especially in unvaccinated people, the county health department said.
The health department gave no further details about the person who tested positive for the variant.
Health officials urged everyone 12 and over to get vaccinated against COVID-19.
“It is critical that anyone eligible in our community get vaccinated,” said Dr. Meena Brewster, St. Mary’s County Health Officer. “As more people in our community are fully vaccinated, we reduce the likelihood that this new infectious Delta variant will spread in St. Mary’s. Prevention methods, such as wearing a mask, hand washing, and distancing are still important to reducing the spread of COVID-19, especially for those who have not yet been fully vaccinated.”
Spread of the Delta strain has triggered a rise in cases worldwide.
The CDC reported a 10 percent increase in cases in the last week. A quarter of them are the Delta strain.