Rising COVID-19 cases in California highlight risks of delta variant, as WHO head warns world in dangerous period of pandemic

Delta variant is now in 98 countries and is spreading quickly; says WHO director-general

A 17% increase in cases of the coronavirus-borne illness COVID-19 in California in the past 14 days has increased concerns about the highly infectious delta variant of the virus, which is expected to become the dominant strain in the U.S. over time, as it has in many other places.

California is averaging almost 1,000 cases a day, and Los Angeles County has already recommended that residents resume wearing face masks indoors after finding that roughly half the new cases were caused by the delta variant, the Associated Press reported.

This variant, which was first identified in India in December, now makes up nearly half of COVID-19 cases in some regions and one-quarter of all cases in the U.S., based on virus samples that have been sequenced, according to remarks made Thursday by Dr. Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevent ion.

Most of the new infections are in unvaccinated people, underscoring the protection offered by the vaccines that have won emergency use authorization in the U.S. The Biden White House has pushed hard with a goal of getting at least one dose into the arms of 70% of the adult population by July 4.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s vaccine tracker is showing that 47% of the overall U.S. population is fully vaccinated, meaning two doses of the vaccines or one shot of Johnson & Johnson’s.

Excerpted and condensed from https://www.marketwatch.com/story/rising-covid-19-cases-in-california-highlight-risks-of-delta-variant-as-who-head-warns-world-in-dangerous-period-of-pandemic-11625237936.