WABASH VALLEY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — Local health officials I spoke with say the delta variant could become the most dominant strain of COVID-19.

The health officials also say tests are still ongoing to determine the severity of the delta variant but researchers have concluded that it is highly transmissible.

Dr. Daren Brucken, Vigo County Health Commissioner says though the medical field is excited for the world to be opening up again, this new variant can cause issues for people whose bodies are not prepared.

“This Delta Variant and other variants that have not even been described yet are going to be out there and that people need to understand, it’s a call for alarm again if you are unvaccinated,” Dr. Brucken said. “So the unvaccinated population are those who are still at high risk. It’s still a deadly variant.”

As of the most recent dashboard update, the Indiana State Department of Health is reporting 224 delta variant cases in the Hoosier state.

“We know that the delta variant is spreading rapidly. It’s becoming dominant and it will continue to grow to become the dominant strain of the virus because it is so highly contagious,” Dr. Alan Stewart, Knox County health officer said. “It is more contagious than the previous genetic makeup of the virus.”

Health officials are still pleased with how far society has come since last year when the world was in the heart of the pandemic.

“It’s been so encouraging because we work here in the hospital and we have obviously seen hospitalization fall off tremendously,” Dr. Brucken said. “Our county has been blue as far as positivity rate now for several weeks in a row consecutively. It’s been giving us the ability to start to open up society safely.”

Both health officials encourage anyone who may not already been to receive the vaccine if they haven’t at this point.