As the Highly transient Delta variant spreads rapidly nationally, the U.S. has 'two weapons' to mitigate the outbreak, according to one medical regional medical director Dr. Natasha Bhuyan
'We have two key weapons in fighting this virus. one is masks, the other is vaccines,' Dr. Natasha Bhuyan told Yahoo Finance Live. If we can get our vaccination rates up, we will be able to slow down the spread of virus. However, until then it's important that people who are fully vaccinated continue to wear a mask in indoor public settings.
The Delta variant, originally identified in India, has now spread to more than 132 countries and is as contagious as chickenpox according to an internal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention document. The new strain accounts for more than 80% of contagious cases in the U.S. as the seven-day average of new confirmed cases has soared 150% in the past two weeks.
Outbreaks of infections largely driven by the Delta variant have prompted state and local governments to reimpose coronavirus-related restrictions. Seven California and Los Angeles counties have taken steps to require people wear masks indoors. Meanwhile, New York City officials still issued a strong recommendation to wear masks on Monday, but stopped short of making it mandatory.
Louisiana is the first state to reimpose a statewide indoor mask mandate as the number of cases in the state surge becomes mandatory. John Bel Edwards issued the order on Monday, requiring face coverings for everyone under 5 or older until Sept. 1 to 'help limit the spread of COVID - 19 and slow suffering and death in Louisiana until we are through this fourth surge.
The vaccines, the other key weapon to fight Delta variant, according to Bhuyan, hit a milestone in the U.S. on Monday. Seventy percent of U.S. adults have received a dose of COVID -19 vaccine, 60.6% are fully vaccinated, according to the CDC.
We are mostly seeing cases of people who are vaccinated, but this is not the current reality. 99.9% of people who are completely vaccinated have not had a breakthrough case that resulted in a severe hospitalization or death, Bhuyan added. 'What that tells us is what public health experts have been saying are accurate.