Wednesday, Ohio health leaders spoke about its impact in Ohio.
Ohio Department of Health Chief Medical Officer Bruce Vanderhoff, MD, and The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Chief Clinical Officer Andrew Thomas, MD, held a press conference to discuss what people need to do to take extra precautions.
“Based on the trends we’re seeing, it’s clear that the Delta variant is on the rise in Ohio,” said Dr. Vanderhoff.
According to the World Health Organization, this strain is considered “the fastest and the fittest.”
According to Vanderhoff, the Delta variant accounted for less than 1% of all positive COVID cases in the beginning of May.
As of June, specifically the window of June 6 to June 19, Delta accounted for 15% of all positive cases.
“Delta is highly contagious,” said Dr. Vanderhoff.
“It takes less of the virus to potentially infect you,” said Dr. Thomas.
However, the process of infection remains the same, which is breathing in infected droplets or touching an infected surface, although that is a less likely form of transmission.
The variant is not easily transmissible outdoors, according to Dr. Vanderhoff.
Both health leaders say that anyone who is not vaccinated should still be wearing a mask.
People who are tested will only find out if they have COVID. They won’t know which variant they have. Those positive tests are then sent for additional testing that identifies which strain it is.
“COVID-19 is a vaccine-preventable virus,” said Dr. Thomas.
About 50% of the Ohio population is vaccinated, according to Dr. Vanderhoff.