COVID Variant Prompts Updated Safety Guidance

An uptick in the transmission of the highly contagious delta COVID-19 variant has prompted officials to announce and update safety guidance.

Last Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) suggested that vaccinated people should still wear masks, social distance, and practice other COVID-19 safety measures in response to the rapid spread of the delta variant.

The highly contagious variant was first found in India but quickly spread to at least 92 countries. WHO officials are especially concerned for the vulnerable in places with low vaccination rates, as the delta variant is one of the most resilient strains of the virus. Because many in the world are still unvaccinated, these highly contagious variants spread quickly and can cause outbreaks. In a recent outbreak of the delta variant in Israel, half of those infected had received the full dose of the Pfizer vaccine, according to the Wall Street Journal

The delta variant’s symptoms and severity of symptoms require more research, but nevertheless, the World Health Organization urges Americans to continue to practice COVID-19 safety measures, even if they are vaccinated.

For more information about the WHO guidance, read this CNBC article.

PHOTO: Courtesy UT Southwestern Medical Center

This news is especially relevant to North Texans, as UT Southwestern Medical Center reported a rise in delta variant infections.

Recently, UT Southwestern Medical Center reported that 20% of individuals sampled tested for the delta variant. They also identified its first two cases of another COVID-19 variant, beta.  Both delta and beta variants are earmarked as variants of concern, along with the alpha and gamma variants.

Further, UT Southwestern Medical Center reported that some models project the delta variant to become the dominant variant in the United States.

In other news:

  • The CDC extended its eviction ban through July. However, it is up to individual judges to enforce the moratorium. Read more from the Texas Tribune.
  • Dallas residents are invited to complete a survey for the Local Solid Waste Management Plan.  The survey will help aid the city in making decisions on its solid waste and recycling programs. The survey can be found here.

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