SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) – Marin County health officials announced Friday the first COVID-19 death in the county in more than two months and that the Delta variant is driving a rise in cases.

Officials said the unvaccinated patient was admitted to a hospital with respiratory symptoms and died on July 21. No additional information about the person was being released.

The county reported its last COVID-19 death in mid-May. At least 186 people have died from COVID-19 in Marin County since the start of the pandemic, all of whom were not vaccinated.

“It’s especially hard to see people dying from COVID-19 when we know how preventable it is,” public health officer Dr. Matt Willis said in a statement.

Marin County has some of the highest vaccination rates in the state, with more than 85% of eligible residents fully vaccinated, including a whopping 98% of people 65 and older.

Even with the vaccination rate, cases are on an upswing. Officials said as of Thursday, Marin County had 258 active COVID-19 cases in the past two weeks, more than five times the number reported in mid-June when the state fully reopened.

Willis said the latest death offers two lessons. “The first is how good the Delta variant is at finding unvaccinated people, and the second is that unvaccinated people lack protection against severe illness and death,” he said.

Statewide, the 7-day positivity rate has risen to 5.2% as of Friday, a 1.4% increase from a week ago. According to the California Department of Public Health, since the start of the year, 99% of COVID-19 cases were among those not vaccinated.

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