By: Tadi Abedje
Communities and large groups of people were gathering for their first Fourth of July celebration since the COVID-19 outbreak. They were doing barbecues and watching fireworks as a sign that life is going back to normal. However, there’s a new highly infectious coronavirus variant called Delta which has spread to all 50 states including California.
According to the latest data presented by California Department of Health, 35.6% of the coronavirus variants in June have been identified as Delta, 34.3% as Alpha and 19.7% as Gamma. In May, California’s largest variant was Alpha at 58%. Delta was first identified in India in December 2020 and it’s more contagious than the other variants.
19.9 million people in the most populated state are fully vaccinated. But the concern is with those who haven’t been vaccinated, as Los Angeles County had its largest increase in COVID-19 cases since April.
“We know the Delta Variant is contagious — and is on the rise. We know our hospitalizations are creeping up — and most of the patients are unvaccinated. We also know the science is clear — getting vaccinated protects you AND those around you,” California Governor Gavin Newsom said in a tweet. “Get vaccinated.”
Due to the rise of the Delta variant, the L.A. County Department of Health recommended that fully vaccinated people should wear masks in indoor events until further notice.
“There are communities that are vulnerable and where we are now seeing surges in cases, and indeed also hospitalizations, due to what could be the spread of the Delta variant and low vaccination rates in these communities,” Dr. Rochelle Walensky said in a press briefing by the White House COVID-19 Response Team.