Despite that most Americans are not using a mask, it does not mean that covid is over. In fact, the recent increase in infections is inspiring people to rebuff their precautions and rethink mask policies.
“The Delta variant is much more contagious than the alpha variant, which was more contagious than the original covid strain. While vaccines are effective, they have lost some of their efficacy in terms of stopping any infection,” says Dr. Perry Wilson, Yale Medicine physician and researcher.
What this means is that people who are vaccinated might still get infected —especially when you are in a high-risk situation.
We asked some experts for tips on avoiding the Delta variant—as well as situations people should avoid.
1 — Wear Masks Indoors
A common sense approach is wearing a mask if you are in indoors or in any closely confined area. Chances are you will be fine, but other people who you are near might not be so lucky.
2 — Avoid Crowded Spaces
Dr. Gandhi, MD, Ph.D., Top Medical Director for Genetic Testing Solutions at Thermo Fisher Scientific, says that the “Delta variant infects people rapidly, especially if vaccine rates are low in your area.” A good practice? “Avoid spaces that are crowded,” he urges.
3 — Continue Social Distancing
Because the delta variant has multiple mutations “that give the virus the ability to evade the host’s immune system” and there are “several cases of infections happening in the vaccinated,” Dr. Gandhi also says that continuing social distancing is a great idea.
4 — If You Think You Were Exposed, Get Tested….No Matter Your Vaccine Status
If there is a potential that you have been exposed to covid, especially if you or your family are not completely vaccinated, it is best to be tested by a RT-PCR to ensure you don’t have any SARS-CoV-2 infection even though you might not have symptoms, says Dr. Gandhi.
He says that even people who are vaccinated need to get tested, to avoid spreading the virus and to ensure it won’t mutate yet again. “The problem is every time it replicates, there is a potential for it to get more mutations. So in some ways it is more important to watch the disease in the vaccinated people,” he explains.
Author: Scott Dowdy