2 Weeks After California’s Reopening, LA County Urges Mask-Wearing Indoors
More health experts are growing wary about the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant.
LA County Recommends Indoor Masks, Regardless Of Vaccines
Health officials in Los Angeles County now strongly recommend that people wear masks indoors in public places — regardless of their vaccination status — to prevent the spread of the highly transmissible delta variant of the coronavirus. The move comes two weeks after Gov. Gavin Newsom reopened California and lifted the statewide mask mandate. (Dazio, 6/29)
Delta Variant Is Forcing Officials To Rethink Covid-19 Measures, Even For The Vaccinated
The more dangerous and more transmissible Delta variant has spread to nearly every state in the US, feeding health experts' concern over potential Covid-19 spikes in the fall. The variant was first identified in India and is now considered a variant of concern by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, meaning scientists believe it can spread more easily or cause more severe disease. (Holcombe, 6/29)
In related news about the delta variant —
Las Vegas Review-Journal:
Delta Variant Found In Nevada COVID Cases Has Tripled
The variant, first identified in India, made up about 46 percent of the analyzed cases in the latest data. Last week, it made up only about 16 percent. “Its frequency among positive cases in Nevada has tripled,” said Mark Pandori, director of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory at the University of Nevada, Reno, School of Medicine. “The viruses that unvaccinated people are facing right now are the Olympic champions of infecting people.” The latest report shows the Delta variant is now the most widespread variant in Nevada. Previously it was the Alpha variant out of the U.K., which made up about 31 percent of cases analyzed in the past two weeks. (Scott Davidson, 6/28)
Los Angeles Times:
Highly Contagious Delta Coronavirus Variant Spawns Delta-Plus
The Delta variant of the coronavirus has spawned a variant of its own that has gained considerable attention since being dubbed “Delta-plus” in India. It is slightly different from the original Delta variant that also was first identified in India. The original Delta variant is perhaps twice as transmissible as other strains of the coronavirus — meaning unvaccinated people are more likely to become infected if they are exposed to it. The United Kingdom was forced to delay a new phase of reopening its economy as the variant began to spread among unvaccinated people there, causing an uptick in cases and hospitalizations. (6/28)
The Wall Street Journal:
Covid-19 Contact Tracers Race Against Delta Variant In The U.S.
As the pandemic slows in the U.S., public-health departments say they are finally able to reach for the traditional goal of contact tracing: stopping new outbreaks.“We want to contain it completely,” said Michael Mendoza, commissioner of the Monroe County Health Department in Rochester, N.Y. During surges over the past year, rapid transmission of the virus in much of the U.S. made it nearly impossible to identify or contact every patient. Public-health workers struggled to do their part to slow the spread. (McKay, 6/29)
Which COVID-19 Variants Are Circulating In US?
Public health officials are urging Americans who haven’t yet been vaccinated against the coronavirus to seek out a shot amid concern regarding the Delta variant which is spreading rapidly in some parts of the U.S. Early data on the AstraZeneca and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines suggest receiving two doses offers a higher level of protection against variants than one, but a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) advisory committee recently said there isn’t enough data to predict if, when or even who might need an eventual booster shot. (Hein, 6/28)
Why A Variant’s Deadliness Is So Hard To Define
The coronavirus is on a serious self-improvement kick. Since infiltrating the human population, SARS-CoV-2 has splintered into hundreds of lineages, with some seeding new, fast-spreading variants. A more infectious version first overtook the OG coronavirus last spring, before giving way to the ultra-transmissible Alpha (B.1.1.7) variant. Now Delta (B.1.617.2), potentially the most contagious contender to date, is poised to usurp the global throne. (Wu, 6/28)