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How the Delta variant of COVID-19 could change how you celebrate the Fourth of July

Health officials say guidance is different for those who are vaccinated, compared to people who are unvaccinated.
Published: Jun. 30, 2021 at 10:49 PM CDT
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BRYAN, Texas (KBTX) - The Fourth of July holiday is just days away, and as millions prepare to travel to celebrate, Brazos County health officials say it is important to be aware of COVID-19 variants.

One in particular is the Delta variant. This variant forced multiple countries around the world to change or roll back reopening policies.

Mary Parrish with the Brazos County Health District says that much like many other variants, they are monitoring this one closely.

“We have not had any cases of the Delta variant in Brazos County, but we are monitoring the situation,” said Parrish.

If a known case is found within the county, the healthcare provider who ran the test would alert the county health district.

According to the CDC, “These variants seem to spread more easily and quickly than other variants, which may lead to more cases of COVID-19. An increase in the number of cases will put more strain on healthcare resources, lead to more hospitalizations, and potentially more deaths.”

Dr. Lon Young, Medical Director at CapRock Health Systems, says this variant does have the ability to spread unlike many of the variants we have seen so far.

So far, studies suggest the current authorized vaccines work on the circulating variants. Scientists will continue to study these and other variants.

“It is about 60% more contagious and is likely to spread more easily than either the original or the variant from Great Britain that was the dominant strain for quite a while,” said Young.

With that in mind, Dr. Young says it is important to consider that while celebrating the Fourth of July. For those who are vaccinated against COVID-19, Young says they should be relatively safe.

“They are safer from all of the varieties of coronavirus and therefore are safer to gather in groups, indoors,” said Young. “So if you are vaccinated it is much safer to gather and travel.”

For those traveling and gathering for the holiday who have not been vaccinated, Young says its important to keep a few things in mind.

“They should behave the same as when we had the previous restrictions,” said Young. “Where if they are around other people, they need to wear a mask indoors, in particular, and try to stay away from large groups.”

Even without known confirmed cases of the variant in Brazos County, Young says if it does show up, and spread quickly, we could be looking at situation where policy makers could roll back some of the reopening.

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