AUSTIN (KXAN) — As COVID-19 instances and hospitalizations proceed to rise because of the unfold of the delta variant, well being consultants are asking even vaccinated individuals to take a step again, masks up and do further testing.
We took a few of your questions concerning the delta variant, testing and vaccines to Dr. Ogechika Alozie, an El Paso infectious illness specialist and member of the Texas Medical Affiliation COVID-19 Process Power and to Jeff Taylor, the supervisor of epidemiology and illness surveillance at Austin Public Well being.
As somebody who’s vaccinated, am I extra prone to unfold the delta variant than the unique pressure of the virus?
Earlier than the delta variant got here alongside, you had been roughly 80-90% much less prone to transmit the virus to another person than for those who had been unvaccinated, Dr. Alozie stated. However that was previous to the delta variant.
Now, the CDC stories that individuals who check optimistic for the delta variant, and are absolutely vaccinated, had the identical quantity of virus of their nasal passage as people who find themselves unvaccinated. Meaning even vaccinated individuals could possibly be spreading the virus extra shortly.
Nonetheless, each well being consultants say extra analysis must be finished.
“I believe one of many issues that we simply don’t know, and one of many issues that the CDC director and a number of different individuals have referred to as out, is that we’d like extra knowledge and knowledge on for those who’re vaccinated, are you able to transmit the delta variant simply as a lot, or is it lowered? We don’t have a great reply to that,” Dr. Alozie stated.
What does the rise in breakthrough instances actually imply?
Dr. Alozie says there’s been quite a lot of confusion surrounding breakthrough instances as a result of it isn’t one thing we have actually measured with infectious illnesses earlier than.
“I believe individuals must do not forget that in some other time interval, let’s say you bought the flu vaccine, for those who received sick you didn’t get examined, it wasn’t counted as a breakthrough an infection,” he stated. “We sort of created this new terminology to create this new fable that since you put on a rain coat, you received’t get moist.”
Dr. Alozie says an important factor to recollect is that despite the fact that you possibly can nonetheless get COVID-19 after being vaccinated, it’s confirmed to considerably scale back your danger of great sickness or loss of life.
Can I get examined particularly for the delta variant?
No. You will get examined for COVID-19, and in lots of instances, even for those who’re vaccinated, it’s best to — however that check will solely let you know for those who’re optimistic or unfavorable for the virus. It is not going to let you know you probably have a variant.
Dr. Alozie described it as “a normal umbrella.”
A spokesperson for APH informed KXAN it doesn’t carry out variant sequencing at any of their websites “because the expertise is cost-prohibitive which is why many suppliers use the DSHS lab for variant sequencing.”
In a briefing earlier than Travis County Commissioners Tuesday, Dr. Desmar Walkes, the native Well being Authority, defined that despite the fact that solely 12 individuals have been confirmed to have the delta variant in Travis County, that quantity is probably going a lot increased.
“Basically, in Travis County, for those who check optimistic for COVID you’ve (the) delta variant,” Taylor stated. “There is not a must sequence all people’s optimistic check.”
Dr. Walkes defined that they use nationwide knowledge and analysis to estimate how widespread the delta variant is in Central Texas. Each Dr. Walkes and the APH spokesperson reiterated how vital it’s that individuals go get examined ought to they expertise signs or turn out to be uncovered.
If I check optimistic for COVID-19 and am vaccinated, ought to I assume it is delta?
Each Dr. Alozie and Taylor say for those who’re vaccinated and get the virus, it is secure to imagine that you’ve the delta variant, particularly if you’re in an space with decrease vaccination charges.
“Eighty-three % of all variants in america, as of final week, had been delta — so there’s a great probability that if you’re getting sick right this moment you’ve delta,” Dr. Alozie stated. “However once more, I say this on a regular basis, it’s like shopping for a home: location, location, location. The delta variant in Baton Rouge and Miami goes to be so much totally different than Austin and El Paso.”
How lengthy will this final?
Let’s begin with the excellent news. In locations the place the delta variant has been outstanding, there was a pointy improve in instances, however a pointy lower follows, based on Dr. Alozie.
“We’re already starting to see a few of these modifications within the states which might be most hit by the delta variant so hopefully this is not going to final lengthy,” he stated.
The unhealthy information? The extra individuals maintain off on not getting vaccinated, the extra danger that we see different spinoff variants, and people variants could possibly be more durable to guard towards. Dr. Alozie says it is too early to inform when or if that would occur anytime quickly.
When ought to I get examined?
The Heart for Illness Management modified their suggestions Tuesday for those that are absolutely vaccinated because the delta variant continues to unfold. Listed here are their new pointers for absolutely vaccinated individuals on testing:
- Totally vaccinated individuals experiencing COVID-19 signs are requested to get examined.
- If you’re instantly uncovered to somebody who assessments optimistic for COVID-19, otherwise you suspect has COVID-19, you are requested to get examined 3-5 days after publicity and put on a masks for 14 days or till you check unfavorable for the virus.
- Should you check optimistic for COVID-19, the CDC says you should isolate.
The place do I get examined?
APH has reopened a number of testing websites as COVID-19 instances proceed to rise in central Texas. An appointment will not be required, however is advisable.
- George Morales Dove Springs Recreation Heart is doing testing Tuesday-Friday from 1-7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Starting Thursday, July 29, there will likely be a further web site at St. Johns that can also be open Tuesday-Friday from 1-7 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
You may make an appointment on the Metropolis of Austin’s web site, by calling 3-1-1 or 512-974-2000 or:
At dwelling via Austin Public Well being. Testing is finished Monday via Friday throughout common work hours, name the nurse hotline at 512-972-5560 to do an analysis and schedule a check.
Clinics and pharmacies like CVS are providing COVID-19 testing at their Austin clinics. A consultant for CVS informed KXAN that their COVID-19 testing quantity is “holding regular” and that they imagine they’ll have the ability to meet demand whilst central Texas sees a spike in instances.
Walgreens, equally, stated that they’ll proceed to fulfill COVID-19 testing calls for in Texas and across the nation.
“As we see the variety of instances rise via the U.S., Walgreens is dedicated to making sure our prospects and sufferers have handy entry to testing at any time,” a Walgreens spokesperson stated.