Rapidly spreading delta variant now dominant COVID-19 strain in California

COVID-19 test
Posted at 5:33 PM, Jul 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-07 18:08:28-04

SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - The delta variant is now the dominant variant in California and health experts are warning it's spreading quickly in people who have not been vaccinated.

"This is a variant that is even more transmissible than the one that was originally found in the United Kingdom," said Dr. Abisola Olulade, family medicine, Sharp Rees-Stealy Medical Group.

According to the California Department of Public Health (CDPH), the delta variant accounted for 35.6% of sequences in California. In May, that number was 5.6%.

In a statement, Dr. Tomás Aragón, CDPH Director and State Public Health Officer, told ABC 10News in part, "This proportion has been increasing rapidly, consistent with patterns seen in other places. The rapid increase in the delta variant suggests that this strain is more easily transmitted between people than other strains circulating in California. Nevertheless, there is evidence that vaccines available in the U.S. are effective against the delta variant."

RELATED: San Diego County won't recommend masks indoors due to COVID-19 delta variant

Aragón said COVID-19 vaccines provide excellent protection from serious disease, even for the delta variant.

"California's face covering guidance, in alignment with the CDC recommendations, allows fully vaccinated individuals to resume everyday activities without wearing a mask in most settings. However, unvaccinated individuals must continue to wear masks in indoor public settings and businesses to help protect against the risk of infection or infecting others," he said.

As of Wednesday, in San Diego County, there have been 54 confirmed cases of the delta variant, resulting in four hospitalizations and one death.

"If you are fully vaccinated individual, the Delta variant poses very little risk to you," said San Diego County Supervisor Nathan Fletcher.

With the delta variant surging in some county areas with low vaccine rates, ABC 10News asked Fletcher if our region can expect any changes to the reopening plan.

"We don't anticipate any changes," Fletcher said. "I mean, we're going to follow California Department of Public Health and CDC guidance, but those haven't changed. Again, I just need to reiterate, the way you protect yourself against the delta variant is you get a vaccine."