SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. – San Luis Obispo County Health officials announced the detection of the Delta COVID-19 variant in San Luis Obispo County on Tuesday.
This is the first known case of the variant in the county.
The variant, first identified in India, seems to spread more easily and quickly than earlier strains of COVID-19.
County officials are investigating this case to understand how the individual contracted COVID-19 and to take steps to prevent further spread of the variant.
“The Delta variant has been spreading rapidly throughout the world and is quickly taking hold in California,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, County Health Officer. “This is an unfortunate reminder that the pandemic is not over and we must remain vigilant to prevent a surge in disease: get tested if you experience symptoms of COVID-19, get vaccinated, stay home if you are sick, and continue good habits like washing your hands often. If you cannot get vaccinated, please continue to wear a mask.”
Public Health says the vaccines in use in the U.S. remain effective against severe impacts of COVID-19, including the Delta variant. Recent research from Public Health England indicates that two doses of vaccine remain more than 90 percent effective at preventing severe illness from the Delta variant, officials said.
On June 15, the CDC labeled Delta as a variant of concern.
The CDC considers a variant “of concern” when there is evidence that it spreads more easily, causes more severe disease, and leads to increased hospitalizations and deaths.
“This variant poses a threat, but we know how to stop its spread,” said Dr. Borenstein. “Get tested if you experience symptoms and be sure to protect yourself and your family by getting the vaccine. If you’ve been waiting, now is the time. Together, we can protect our community and put this pandemic behind us for good.”
The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department says it is not yet recommending people begin wearing masks again indoors, despite the detection of the more-transmissible Delta variant. The health department provided the following statement to our newsroom:
"At this time, SLO County Public Health is not issuing any additional recommendations regarding mask wearing beyond the current State and Federal recommendations. We are however, monitoring the local situation closely and will remain open to considering additional recommendations if local data indicates the need. That said, it is reasonable for particularly vulnerable persons to take extra precautions, staying away from crowds, especially indoors, and limiting the amount of time spent in crowded indoor spaces where social distancing is not possible. Further, although the current vaccines are showing strong protection from serious disease, even against the delta variant, those who wish to continue to wear face coverings are certainly welcome to do so, along with those who are not vaccinated."Michelle Shoresman, Public Information Officer with San Luis Obispo County Public Health
For more information on variants identified in San Luis Obispo County, click here.
For more information on COVID-19 testing in the County, click here.
To make an appointment for your COVID-19 vaccine, click here.