Information last updated 9/3/2021
Our team is highly skilled at managing and treating infectious diseases of all types, including COVID-19. We are continuing to closely follow guidance from the CDC and our local/state health departments and are adhering to the rigorous health and safety protocols that have always been in place at our facility. These operating protocols were further enhanced when the pandemic began and include:
Yes. Studies have shown that the Delta variant is more than two times as transmissible as any other previously identified strains of COVID-19, which means it is more contagious.. In late July, the CDC estimated that the Delta variant was responsible for more than 80% of all new COVID-19 cases in the U.S.
We are still learning about the characteristics of the Delta variant as the research continues to evolve. For now, we know that the best thing you can do is get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect yourself. Vaccinated individuals are significantly less likely to spread the virus, become severely ill if they do contract COVID-19 or require hospitalization. Notably, over 99% of all deaths due to COVID-19 in June 2021 across the U.S. were in the unvaccinated population.
We are not currently testing patients with COVID-19 to determine which strain they may have. The specific type of variant doesn’t impact how we care for COVID-19 patients, nor does it impact the health and safety protocols already in place to protect our team and all those who enter our facilities.
It is normal for viruses to mutate and develop new strains – this happens with the influenza virus every year, for example. Because of this, there are several different strains of the SARS-CoV-2 currently circulating, including the delta variant, and it is likely that other strains may develop over time. It is very important to get a COVID-19 vaccine to help protect yourself and others from any strain of the virus.
The best defense is to get a COVID-19 vaccine and encourage everyone you know to get vaccinated. At this point, most of the patients we are seeing who are hospitalized with COVID-19 are unvaccinated. It is also wise to wear a mask, socially distance from others and practice proper hand hygiene to help slow the spread of illness.
Studies are still ongoing to determine how long immunity lasts for a vaccinated individual and if COVID-19 booster shots are necessary. At this time, the best thing to do is make sure you are fully vaccinated for maximum protection – either by receiving both doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna two-dose vaccine regimen or the single-dose Johnson and Johnson (Janssen) vaccine.
Breakthrough cases of COVID-19 are possible regardless of the specific variant, as no vaccine is 100% effective. The good news is that even if you contract COVID-19 after being fully vaccinated, you are significantly less likely to become severely ill or require hospitalization.
The best source of information regarding the presence and impact of the Delta variant in our community is the local health department.