(WYTV) – The COVID-19 Delta Variant is quickly becoming the dominant strain of the virus in the U.S. On Thursday, the White House announced it would start sending out special teams to hot spots where cases are rising.
Health experts say it’s vaccines, not masks, that are the solution.
Summer came and many COVID-19 restrictions lifted, but now, health officials are keeping a close eye on a new strain of the coronavirus.
The Delta Variant has been detected in the U.S.
“In the United States, it makes up about 30% of new cases and we know that number is rising. So, we assume that it’s here in the Valley. We assume that it’s here in our hospitals,” said Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Jim Kravec of Mercy Health.
“It is already in Ohio. The evidence would show that it will become the dominant variant in Ohio,” said Governor DeWine.
Now, many are asking if another mask mandate will be put into place to slow the spread, whether you’re vaccinated or not.
Governor DeWine had this to say:
“I don’t have any plans at this point to do that. I think the important thing now is for people just to be careful, exercise good judgement. Understand the number of people in your county that have been vaccinated because that’s really the indicator. If you’re in one of the counties that hasn’t been vaccinated very much, your risk is much, much higher,” he said.
“The vaccine is the most important thing that we can do to protect ourselves against COVID-19 and the Delta Variant,” Dr. Kravec said.
Dr. Kravec has spoken with 33 News throughout the pandemic. He says each vaccine — Moderna, Pfizer and Johnson and Johnson — covers the Delta and all other variants.
There’s still a risk you could get sick.
“First of all, it’s very, very infrequent, very rare, and it’s very mild, and that I think it’s the important piece to remember about the vaccine. The vaccine does protect us, and the vaccine does save lives,” Dr. Kravec said.
He also says the demand for COVID-19 vaccines has gone down locally, which is part of the worry, but he wants to remind the community:
“We’re still giving them Monday through Friday at our sites [in North Lima and Howland], but it’s really a very small number coming in everyday,” Dr. Kravec said. “So, we offer it. It’s available. We continue to encourage it, but it’s much less than it was before.”