You may have heard or read about a new strain of the coronavirus called the Delta Variant and you may be wondering if this variant impacts you and your family. The Delta Variant has been reported in neighboring counties. If you have been vaccinated, you have taken a big step in protecting yourself, your friends, and your family.
Things you need to know about the Delta variant:
- The Delta variant infects almost exclusively unvaccinated persons.
- Delta is more contagious than the previous virus strains and right now, more than 30% of all new cases in the U.S. are Delta.
- Vaccination is the best protection against Delta. Optimal protection is only achieved if you had both doses of the vaccine.
How prevalent is the Delta Variant?
As of June 29, the Delta variant represents over 23% of all new Covid infections in California. It is spreading fast and will likely become the dominant variant in the United States by end of August.
Are booster shots needed?
No booster shots necessary since our available vaccines are highly protective after the complete series.
Is masking recommended?
In Los Angeles County, a new recommendation to wear a mask indoors, regardless of vaccination status has been made. At this time, Santa Barbara County Public Health is not adding this recommendation, however masking is required by the State of California while using public transportation, indoors at K-12 schools, in jails and other state/local detention facilities, homeless shelters, emergency and cooling centers, and in medical settings. If Santa Barbara were to experience a significant increase in case rates, this guidance could change.
How do I get a vaccination to protect myself?
Most vaccination sites do accept walk-ups. Vaccination appointments for individuals aged 12+ can be made by visiting myturn.ca.gov. The consent of a parent or legal guardian is needed for those between the ages of 12 and 17 to receive a vaccination. The consent form and other important information is available on our website https://publichealthsbc.org/vaccine/
By Dr. Henning Ansorg, M.D., FACP, Health Officer County of Santa Barbara, Department of Public Health