1st COVID-19 death from Delta variant confirmed in Reno area
RENO, Nev. (AP) — Northern Nevada’s Washoe County has confirmed its first death related to the COVID-19 Delta variant, which was the most common variant among samples collected at the state public health lab last month and is accounting for one in four new cases reported nationally, the health district said Thursday.
“The Delta variant has become the most common COVID-19 variant in Washoe County over the last two weeks and is extremely contagious,” Washoe County Health District Officer Kevin Dick said.
The woman in her 40s who died from the Delta variant first identified in India had not received the COVID-19 vaccination, had no underlying conditions and had been hospitalized in the Reno-Sparks area, the county health district said Thursday.
It wasn’t immediately clear if the variant has been tied to any other Nevada deaths, but a health official confirmed Thursday there have been none in the Las Vegas area.
It’s the first in Washoe County blamed on the variant among 685 overall COVID-19 deaths reported in the county that includes Reno and Sparks since March 2020, the district said.
The county on Thursday reported 34 additional cases of the Delta variant, for a total of 51. Nevada’s first case of the variant was confirmed in the county June 15.
Most of the 51 cases involved people who had not been vaccinated. Nine were fully vaccinated. None of the fully vaccinated who contracted the variant has been hospitalized, the district said.
The Nevada State Public Health Laboratory reported earlier this week that only 10 of the 81 statewide samples they have confirmed as the Delta variant through sequencing have been outside Washoe or Clark County, which includes Las Vegas.
The Southern Nevada Health District for Las Vegas and surrounding areas hasn’t reported any deaths related to the Delta variant, district public information officer Jennifer Sizemore told The Associated Press on Thursday.
The Nevada State Public Health Laboratory reported June 28 that it has identified a total of 81 cases of the Delta variant during sequencing of samples — 41 in Clark County, 30 in Washoe County, four in Mineral County and three each in Carson and Elko counties.
Among samples collected and sequenced from June 1-25, the lab said 39% were the B.1.617.2 Delta variant and 34% were the B.1.1.7 variant believed to have originated in the United Kingdom.