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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Sixteen percent of Shelby County’s new cases of COVID-19 are in people who have been vaccinated, said Dr. Jeff Warren, a Memphis city councilman and member of the local COVID task force.

Warren would know; he’s one of those cases.

“I had a little cold on Wednesday, runny nose, little cough. I thought I better get checked. I don’t want to go to work if I’m infected,” Warren said. “I was positive.”

That’s despite Warren’s careful precautions like double masking. He says he has no idea where he picked it up. He says he only takes his mask off indoors around other vaccinated people.

He says the vaccine likely kept him from more serious symptoms. But he is contagious, and could spread it to anyone else regardless of their vaccination status, so he’s glad he got tested.

He thinks everyone needs to take similar precautions.

“It’s important right now, even if you’ve been vaccinated, and you’re inside, wear your mask,” Warren said. “If you think you have a cold and you’ve been vaccinated, go get tested so you don’t inadvertently spread it.”

Experts are comparing the fight against coronavirus to a war. The newest battle is against the delta variant, which is more transmissible than any other.

New documents from the CDC reportedly show the virus can spread just as easily as the chicken pox, which many people remember having as children.

How did we get to a point where we have a variant that is so highly transmissible and contagious?

“We just never got vaccinated rapidly enough,” Warren said.

And just like we’ve had a vaccine against the chicken pox since 1995, we also now have one for COVID.

“The thing that’s going to prevent you from going to the hospital and dying is getting vaccinated,” Warren said.

If you need to get tested, Shelby County offers numerous free testing sites: