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Where you’ll likely see outbreaks of the delta coronavirus variant

The delta variant may continue to spread. Here are some precautions to take

A man gets a COVID-19 test.
Cole Hughes receives a COVID-19 rapid test at the Utah State Fairpark in Salt Lake City on Monday, May 17, 2021.
Annie Barker, Deseret News

The biggest concern for experts when it comes to coronavirus variants is the delta variant — a mutation that was originally discovered in India.

The concern is so high right now that experts have shared where you’re likely to find it and what you might want to do if you want to stay safe from it.

Where is the delta COVID-19 variant?

Dr. Scott Gottlieb, a former commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, told CBS’s “Face the Nation” over the weekend that the delta variant may be spreading in highly unvaccinated locations.

  • “I think in parts of the country where you have less vaccination — particularly in parts of the South, where you have some cities where vaccination rates are low — there’s a risk that you could see outbreaks with this new variant,” Gottlieb said.
  • “The outbreaks that are happening in the U.K. are happening around schools where you have a lot of unvaccinated children,” he told “Face the Nation.”

Is the delta variant dominant in the U.S.?

Gottlieb said the variant will likely become the dominant strain the U.S. if it continues to spread in these areas, according to CNN.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the alpha variant, which was originally discovered in the U.K., remains the dominant variant in the United States. That said, the U.K. — which was dominated by the alpha strain, is now seeing the delta variant as the most popular mutation for new cases, according to The Hill.

Should you worry about the delta variant?

Dr. Bob Wachter, the chair of the University of California San Francisco’s department of medicine, said in a recent Twitter thread that vaccinated people probably don’t need to worry about the variant because vaccines have proven to be effective against it.

  • “If you’re fully vaxxed, I wouldn’t be too worried, especially if you’re in a highly vaxxed region,” he said.
  • “If you’re not vaccinated: I’d be afraid. Maybe even very afraid,” he said.

Watcher then explained that the delta variant is more transmissible. And it’s more transmissible even with one dose of a two-dose COVID-19 vaccine. This means that even if you wait to get one dose, the variant could impact you before you get your second dose, he said.

What should you do to stay safe from delta?

Watcher said vaccinated people should watch the percent of the delta variant in their region. If cases continue to spike in your community, you might want to add more precautions back into your life, like indoor mask-wearing.

“If you’re unvaxxed, get your shots! You may be reassured by a low local case rate, but don’t be: it may be due to summer plus the still-low delta fraction. Both will change,” he said.