COVID delta variant kills Kansas City area resident as cases rise, officials say

Wyandotte County health officials announced that one person was killed by the COVID-19 delta variant on Thursday.This is the 22th case of highly contagious variant of the disease among county residents. However, this number could rise as testing has slowed.Officials from the health department did not give any age or identify the individual. They did say that most delta cases occur among younger people. 14 of these, or 64% of them, are in people under 30.This news comes just one day after Kansas City hospital officials reported an increase in COVID-19 hospitalizations. Many of these patients are younger. Some patients, even those with no other health issues, were so sick that they required a machine to help them in their breathing.Chief medical officers blamed the rise in cases of illness on two factors: the Delta variant and the lack of vaccinations. Hospitals report that the majority of people who are now getting sick in the United States are unvaccinated.Wyandotte County's delta cases are not linked to each other, which could indicate that the highly contagious strain of the disease is spreading through the community, according to the Unified Government Public Health Department.Despite months of community outreach and vaccination efforts, 36% of Wyandotte residents received only one dose of vaccine. 31.5% of Wyandotte residents are still unvaccinated, which is far less than the state average.According to data from the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, 44.3% of Kansas residents have had one dose and 39% have been completely vaccinated.No matter what age, anyone can get vaccinated free of provides information about the locations and hours of vaccinations being offered by Wyandotte County's health allows you to search for pharmacies and other providers of vaccines in your area.Reporting by Katie Moore, The Stars