How is the Delta Variant Affecting New York City?

01 August, 2021

Starting late last year, news of the Covid-19 vaccine brought us hope. But it also brought questions and uncertainty. With a few months of hindsight, though, we see the substantial difference it’s made. We can finally leave our homes, see our loved ones, and even travel once again!

Suddenly—before we could process what was happening—the delta variant of COVID-19 was spreading like wildfire in New York City

You may be wondering: What does this mean for the people of NYC? 

Let’s take a look at what we know so far: The delta variant is more infectious than its predecessor (the alpha strain). It infects more people in less time, and it doesn’t matter if you’re vaccinated or not—you can still get infected with delta! 

Panicking seems like a bad idea, though, so let’s break this down further.

We’ll start by taking a look at the latest updates on the COVID-19 Delta Variant’s trajectory in New York City. There has been recent news in NYC about new mandates, such as weekly tests for unvaccinated city workers. And there have also been two more confirmed cases of a new variant this week. We’ll also break down what this variant is and if or why you should be worried about it. 

Finally, we’ll consider the answer to: “Will getting vaccinated help protect from the delta variant?” & see to what extent vaccines are protecting people.


What’s happening in New York? Recent New on the Delta Variant

Since late June and early July, Covid-19 cases have been rising rapidly.

According to Syracuse, New York confirmed 1,982 new cases Saturday, four times more than the 506 confirmed July 1—and then another 1,296 on Sunday. Gov. Andrew Cuomo mentioned that more vaccinations are the answer. He also mentioned that new state regulations were not underway, but rather that local municipalities would be managing such changes.

Following this, New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio implemented a new vaccine mandate that will apply to city employees who gather in-person with one another at work. They have to do one of two things: provide proof of vaccination or get tested weekly for Covid-19.


What Is the Delta Variant?

While we were getting excited about a vaccinated public in December, doctors in India were discovering a new strain of Covid-19: The Delta Variant.

And it’s just arrived in the US—as I’m sure you’ve heard. But what exactly is it? 

The Delta Variant is a dominant strain of Covid-19 which is far more contagious than the strains we’ve encountered thus far. This newer variant is particularly troubling, and it has exploded globally in very little time. Though we’re collecting information as quickly as we can, there’s still much we don’t know.


What Does the CDC Know About The Delta Variant?

→ It’s 60% more transmissible than the Alpha, which was already more transmissible that the original 2019 variant


Will Getting Vaccinated Help Protect Against The Delta Variant?

Hearing that this new variant can infect vaccinated people sounds scary. It may leave you thinking: should I even get vaccinated? Is it still worth it? Here’s what we know so far.

The CDC tells us that the delta variant is especially dangerous because of just how quickly it transmits. 

When we compare this influx of Covid-19 positive cases from the Delta variant to the influx we got in NY’s second wave back in November, some relieving data comes to light. 

Though the current increase in positive cases is far greater than the percentage we saw last time, the same isn’t true for the number of hospitalizations.

Hospitalization numbers don’t correlate with confirmed cases like they did in pre-pandemic times. Meaning: we don’t see the same increase in hospital patients despite this variant being both stronger & more contagious. This is good news. It means that, though it’s not foolproof, the vaccine is most certainly helping!


So.. should you get vaccinated?

From what we know so far, it helps. But of course, it’s up to you and what your circumstances allow. 


So, Does Testing Still Help?

So, amongst all this confusing new information. Do we know if our Covid-19 tests still work for this variant? Should we get tested?

Well, we may not have all the information on how COVID delta covid-19 operates, but so far the numbers show that it is still possible to catch COVID delta from someone who has been vaccinated. 

Also, kids under 12 and many others still can’t get vaccinated, so they can easily spread this stronger form of Covid-19 as well. 

This means testing yourself—especially if you were around a large group of people—is always a good idea.

But will our same old Covid diagnostic tests work on this big, bad variant?

From what we know thus far, the more precise diagnostics tests for Covid-19 can sense genetic variations better. This would include molecular tests like RealTime Polymerase Chain Reaction tests, or RT-PCR Covid-19 Tests.

The quicker options like Antigen tests may detect that you have some form of Covid-19, but you likely won’t know whether or not it’s the delta variant.

To book a PCR test online and get results in as little as 30 minutes with Alliance Health, select your location and book your test online today!

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