Delta Variant Detections Increase
Health Officials urge continuation of COVID-19 preventative measures
Monterey County Health Department has been monitoring the emergence of variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 since March 2021. A strain called the Delta variant has been increasing globally and now accounts for 20% of specimens on which genome sequencing has been completed in the U.S. The Delta variant has been detected in several California counties, including Monterey County. The Monterey County Health Department reports that three Monterey County residents have been confirmed to have COVID-19 illness that was caused the Delta variant.
Viruses constantly change through mutations that create new strains of virus (called variants) over time. Multiple variants of the virus that causes COVID-19 have been identified globally during the COVID-19 pandemic. Scientists and Public Health Officials become concerned about a SARS-CoV-2 variant when it affects COVID-19 transmission, severity, testing, treatment, or vaccine effectiveness. The Delta variants are concerning because they appear to be more contagious than other variants.
“Vaccinating as many people as soon as possible is the best way to slow the spread of COVID-19 and limit the impact of variants like the Delta variant on our communities,” states Dr. Edward Moreno, Monterey County Health Officer and Director of Public Health. To keep yourself, your family, friends and neighbors, and the entire community safe, Monterey County Health Officials urge the public and businesses to continue to follow these core principles:
- Get vaccinated and encourage others to get vaccinated. All federally authorized vaccines work well and will help keep you, your family, and your friends healthy.
- Move activities outdoors. Outdoor activities pose less risk than indoor activities.
- Follow California Department of Public Health Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings (https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/guidance-for-face-coverings.aspx). Unvaccinated people, including children ages 2 to 11 years old, should continue to wear a face covering in public settings and businesses. Vaccinated people should also wear a face covering on public transit, in schools and daycare centers, in health care facilities, and in congregate living settings like jails, shelters, and cooling centers.
- Maintain distance from others. Social distancing from those who do not live with you is effective at keeping the coronavirus away.
- Avoid crowds. The fewer people you encounter and the fewer interactions you have, the lower the chance the virus will spread.
For more information on COVID-19 variants of concerns, please visit the California Department of Public Health’s variant website: https://www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/Pages/COVID-19/COVID-Variants.aspx.