COVID-related hospitalization inching upward in north-central Iowa likely due to Delta variant

MASON CITY — While the number of those hospitalized for COVID-19 in the north-central Iowa medical region is not as high as it was in late November, that number has been slowly creeping up.

As of 10:30 this morning, 11 people are hospitalized in the region currently with three new cases being admitted in the previous 24 hours. Two of those 11 patients are in an intensive care unit with one of those two patients being on a ventilator. Some if not most of the new cases can be pinpointed to the “Delta” variation of the virus.

Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health director Brian Hanft says those who are not vaccinated should consider being immunized due to this being a harsh variant.  “We’re talking about a significantly more robust virus as it’s transitioned and changed. People who are not vaccinated need to pay close attention to what’s going on. If you are holding out because you need to talk to your doctor, talk to your nurse or call your public health department and get those questions answered. I can’t stress it enough that those people who are not vaccinated really are running the risk of dealing with a very, very contagious illness that is much more of a concern than what we were dealing with when we first started.”

Hanft says those who are not vaccinated run the risk of getting the Delta variant and having drastic health complications.  “Our message through public health is that it’s rampant, we know that the people who are showing up in the intensive care units with severe complications are coming from people who have not been vaccinated. It’s not too late, people can still get it done.”

Hanft says while exact numbers aren’t available for north-central Iowa, he says the Delta variant is spreading around the state quickly.   “I did check with the State Hygienic Laboratory, and although I really can’t say for sure, we know that more than 50% of the cases right now are related to Delta variant. I did try to find more about county-specific numbers and they just don’t have it, because they have some laboratory work that they need to do to in order to detect that particular variant and they can’t always, but we do know that the numbers are very high.”

The Cerro Gordo County Department of Public Health is holding COVID-19 vaccine clinics on Wednesdays and Fridays at their office. For more information or to sign up head to


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