Health officials are urging individuals who have yet to get a COVID-19 vaccination to do so soon as the more transmissible Delta variant grows across California, including in Stanislaus County.
“We are closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and its variants across our state. COVID-19 has not gone away. If you are not vaccinated, you are still at risk.,” said Dr. Tomás Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer. “Currently, the Delta variant accounts for approximately 36 percent of cases sampled in California, and we expect this to rise. The most important thing we can do to stop the spread of COVID-19, and the variants, is ensure everyone who is eligible gets vaccinated.”
The Delta variant, first detected in India, has a transmission rate that is 60 percent higher than the Alpha variant, which had been the dominant strain. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention said that 25 percent of the new COVID-19 cases in the United States are the Delta strain and that soon it will be the prevailing strain.
As of June 30, the California Department of Public Health had recorded 634 cases of the Delta strain of COVID-19 through virus sequencing. The CDPH has sequenced 63,447 samples of COVID-19 as of June 30. In May, 11 percent of cases in the state were sequenced, so any particular strain would have an actually higher number of cases than what has been recorded.
Stanislaus County has reported finding six cases through sequencing of the Delta strain. The first case was reported on June 15 said Stanislaus County Health Services Agency spokesperson Kamlesh Kaur.
There is still much that isn’t known about the Delta variant, but some early studies show it might be responsible for a higher rate of hospitalizations. However, vaccines “are highly effective at preventing serious illness and death from COVID-19, including the Delta variant,” according to the CDPH.
“As a father and pediatrician, I urge all eligible Californians to get vaccinated to not only protect themselves, but the children in their lives and in their communities who are not able to get vaccinated,” said Dr. Mark Ghaly, California Health and Human Services Secretary. “The data is clear: nearly all new COVID-19 hospitalizations and deaths are preventable. The vaccines work and they protect us.”
In California, more than 20 million people are fully vaccinated. In Stanislaus County, about 43 percent of the population is fully vaccinated.
Californians who have not been vaccinated yet are encouraged to go to myturn.ca.gov or call (833) 422-4255 to schedule their appointment or go to myturn.ca.gov/clinic to find a walk-in clinic in their county.