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Delta variant contributing to rise in coronavirus cases, even among vaccinated people

The Delta variant is stronger and more transmissible, and experts say that we should continue taking precautions to prevent the spread.

SAN ANTONIO — Coronavirus cases are on the rise in Bexar County. The majority of the cases are among the unvaccinated, but the vaccine is not 100% effective and many who are vaccinated have tested positive for COVID-19. 

A big part of the problem is the Delta variant. It is so much more transmissible and stronger than the original virus that even the vaccinated are getting sick and need to be tested with if they have symptoms.

"And if you are contacted by us as part of a case investigation, even if you're vaccinated, then the CDC guidance remains for you to get tested," said Dr. Junda Woo the Medical Director for San Antonio Metro Health.  

The American Academy of Pediatrics says children two years of age and up need to wear masks in school. We know the unvaccinated also need to wear masks, but what if you have been vaccinated? 

"It would be important if your immune system is weak to continue masking, distancing, having events or attending things that are outdoors preferentially to things that are indoors," Dr. Woo said.

From early June through early July the numbers of hospitalized people with COVID remained largely unchanged. But in the last two weeks there has been a noticeable increase in hospitalizations, up 41 percent to 198, the number in the ICU and the number requiring ventilators also are noticeably higher. 

The positivity rate, which is the number of people testing positive out of all COVID tests in the county, almost doubled since the end of June, and now sits at 11.2 percent. That's a number Metro Health considers severe. 

"All of those are going in the wrong direction, and so everybody will need to decide for themselves whether to what additional precautions to take for sure," Dr. Woo added. "As long as there are large numbers of unvaccinated people out there, we can expect more variants."

Dr. Woo also said the best weapon against the virus is a vaccine, and if you are vaccinated and know someone that isn't and still has concerns or questions to talk to them about your experience and the facts. Or have someone who will talk to them who you know they listen to.