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State health department talks Delta variant surge, vaccine outreach in Tennessee

Published: Jul. 23, 2021 at 10:00 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 23, 2021 at 10:09 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Tennessee Department of Health is held a briefing Friday on the latest regarding the COVID-19 Delta variant and the state’s vaccine efforts and outreach.

With COVID-19 cases on the rise due to the Delta variant, some businesses and schools are implementing protocols to keep the spread at a minimum.

TDH says it plans to release updated guidance for Tennessee k-12 schools ahead of the upcoming school year on vaccinations and masking.

“We do know the Delta variant is the predominant variant in Tennessee now,” said State health commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey.

And, according to Piercey, the variant is hitting the Memphis/Shelby County area hard.

Piercey says about 90% of the state’s virus-related hospitalizations and deaths are among the unvaccinated.

She also says over half of breakthrough cases are affecting those who are elderly or have a compromised immune system -- a breakthrough case is when you have an infection after you have already been vaccinated.

As far as vaccines go, the state is still seeing hesitancy in some communities but efforts are still underway.

This story will be updated.

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