New cases of COVID dipped slightly during the past week in Nash County but more than tripled in Edgecombe County as the delta variant of the virus begins to dominate the COVID landscape in North Carolina.

According to information presented to state lawmakers by a representative of the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, roughly 80 percent of COVID cases in the state are from the delta strain of the virus.

“We are not able to track this on the county level, but the CDC is taking random samples from each state, which is how they likely arrived at the 80 percent figure,” Nash County Health Director Bill Hill said Tuesday at a weekly meeting of the Nash County COVID Response Team.

In Nash County, the number of new COVID cases dipped slightly this week with 22 cases reported Monday over the previous seven days and 36 cases reported the week before. The new cases bring the cumulative number of COVID cases in Nash County to 11,532.

Of that number, 196 Nash County residents have died, the same number as reported the week before.

The state Department of Health and Human Services reported that 39 new cases of COVID were reported over the past week in Edgecombe County. That number is more than three times higher than the dozen cases reported during the previous week in the county.

The cumulative number of cases reported in Edgecombe County is 5,769. Of that number, 118 Edgecombe County residents have died of COVID-related causes at last report.

The number of patients admitted to Nash UNC Health Care with COVID complications rose slightly from six to eight this past week, Hill said Tuesday.

Vaccinations are still the best line of defense against COVID, even against the delta strain of the virus, he said. Hill said he was encouraged to see more than 40 COVID vaccinations administered Tuesday at the Nash County Health Department.

“At this clinic, we gave out more first-dose vaccines than second-dose vaccines,” Hill said. “It has been a while since we have seen that.”

Hill said that more people are also now showing interest in getting the vaccine for their family members in the 12-17 age range. Vaccines for adolescents are usually given on Fridays at the Nash County Health Department.

“I think we are seeing more as the school year draws near,” Hill said.

To encourage more people to get vaccinated, some local organizations and businesses are hosting events with extra incentives offered.

From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on July 29, the McDonald’s in Nashville is offering a coupon for a free sandwich to residents who participate in their drive-through vaccination event. More details about this will be announced next week.

Greater Joy Church in Rocky Mount is offering a $25 cash card to people receiving their first vaccination or to people who bring in an adult to receive their first vaccination. This free vaccination clinic will be held from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on July 31 at the church at 820 Nashville Road in Rocky Mount.

Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be offered at that event, according to information provided by former state Sen. Angela Bryant.