Coronavirus COVID-19 attack organism. Corona virus

EAST WENATCHEE - The Chelan-Douglas Health District says its seeing an increase in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations due to the delta variant.

The variant, first detected in the U.S. in March, spreads faster and quicker than prior strains of the virus, according to the health district.

“An increase in the number of cases will put more strain on healthcare resources, lead to more hospitalizations and potentially more deaths,” health district officials stated.

As of July 27, 17 Chelan and Douglas County residents are hospitalized with COVID-19. Virus cases in the last 14 days have increased from 120 to 170 per 100,000 residents.

The CDC and the state of Washington are recommending people, vaccinated or not, wear a mask indoors.

“Unvaccinated individuals are encouraged to avoid public settings as much as possible and seek safer alternatives like order take-out, exercise outdoors and work from home,” health district officials added.

The health district is also asking residents to limit activities that could mean exposure to the virus, including large gatherings and travel.