(WSIL)---Health officials say Delta Variant cases are increasing in almost every state.
Delta accounts for about 83% of new cases. This surge is ahead of the new school year.
More counties across southeast Missouri and southern Illinois have less than 40% vaccination rates, but are seeing increasing COVID cases.
Many schools in our area are returning to in person classes this fall, health officials stress the importance of getting vaccinated before kids are back in session.
Right now, Region 5, which includes most of southern Illinois, is at a 7.6% average positivity rate for COVID.
Because many testing sites were stopped when COVID numbers slowed, this means most people tested are symptomatic.
"Because Delta is a lot more contagious and a lot easier to spread between people, and so the fact that people are getting sick enough to go to the doctor, or they're going to the hospital to get tested for COVID-19, means that we've got a broader problem that's spreading throughout the region right now," said Southern Seven Health Department's Community Outreach Coordinator, Nathan Ryder.
Currently, no counties in Region 5 have 40% vaccination.