According to the California Department of Public Health, 35% of new COVID-19 cases detected by testing in June were of the delta variant strain, up from around 5% in May. The delta variant is now the dominant strain of COVID-19 cases in California.
Here in San Diego County, local officials said that there have been 25 positive cases of the delta variant, but because they are not testing every positive result, that number is likely higher.
“You can’t test every single one of the positive tests,” said county board of supervisors chair Nathan Fletcher. “In a lot of testing incidents, you’ll keep the samples. A lot of the testing units don’t keep the samples. Some of the samples aren’t eligible, so we’re going to sequence as many as we can to see general trends.”
Fletcher said San Diego has a better grasp on the number of delta variant cases than many other counties in the country in large part because of the number of Covid-19 tests being conducted by the Scripps Research Institute. He does not know the percentage of positive tests that are being tested to determine strain.
So far only one woman has been hospitalized in San Diego County as a result of the delta variant strain, and there have been no deaths attributed to it. Officials said the delta variant has proven to be more infectious and deadly to the unvaccinated and those who are not fully immunized.
“We want to encourage folks to not forget to get their second vaccine,” said District 1 Supervisor Nora Vargas. “We know that, particularly, the Latino community has been greatly impacted so we want to make sure that anyone who is eligible gets access to their vaccines,”
While Los Angeles County has “strongly advised” its vaccinated and unvaccinated residents to wear masks indoors because of the rise of the delta Variant, San Diego County has not done the same.
“We’re going to follow CDPH [California Department of Public Health] guidance, CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] guidance,” Fletcher said. “That’s where we are, and we don’t anticipate that changing anytime soon, but it always could. I think one of the challenges with this is the individuals who are choosing to not get vaccinated are the same individuals who are going to choose to not wear a mask, and those are the ones who are at risk.”
San Diego County is now updating its weekly coronavirus dashboard weekly, on Wednesdays. As of June 9, there have been 282,582 confirmed local cases of the illness.