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Delta variant continues to spread in Mesa County

According to the county's COVID dashboard, hospitals remain at capacity.

MESA COUNTY, Colo. — Mesa County continues to lead the state in Delta variant cases. The county's health department has identified about 400 cases of the COVID-19 variant, the highest total in any Colorado county.

According to the county's COVID dashboard, the hospitals remain at capacity. Amanda Mayle with Mesa County Public Health said that's partly due to low vaccination rates. 

"The cases of COVID in general hospitalizations and deaths are occurring, large majority, in unvaccinated individuals," Mayle explained. "So that's where our efforts are really focused right now."

About 40% of Mesa County is fully vaccinated. That includes Grand Junction resident Craig Smith. He told 9NEWS he hoped more of his neighbors consider getting vaccinated.

"I wish I knew what the magic bullet was to convince people it was the right thing to do," Smith said. "It seems like a no-brainer to me."

RELATED: Yes, a fully vaccinated person exposed to the Delta variant could transmit COVID-19 to others

Thousands visited Mesa County last weekend for the Country Jam music festival in Loma. While Mesa County Public Health told 9NEWS they campaigned with vaccination advertisements, as well as COVID safety measures before and during the event, they will monitor if any outbreaks stem from the event. 

"We know we can do better," Mayle said. "So we’re reaching out and trying to educate as many community members as possible on vaccines, giving them the information they need, dispelling some myths that may be out there. We know that’s the best path forward and the best way we’re going to get out of this, even with these variants."

Missouri is the only state that has more cases of the Delta variant than Colorado, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

RELATED: CDC director weighs in on wearing masks amid delta variant spread

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