Rise of Delta Variant Puts Facilities on Notice

By Dan Hounsell
June 23, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t over.

Despite rising vaccination rates and falling numbers of new cases and hospitalizations, healthcare facilities managers can hardly afford to let down their guards in taking measures to protect the health and safety of building occupants.

The very contagious and possibly more harmful Delta variant of the coronavirus “probably” will become the dominant strain in the United States in the coming months, Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said recently.

Vaccines have been effective against the variant, which first appeared in India, but Walensky expressed concern that the virus could mutate and render vaccines less effective, according to Politico.

Research from Scotland released this week showed the variant was about twice as likely to hospitalize patients than the Alpha variant is. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently delayed the end of England’s lockdown amid the spread of the Delta variant, which data has shown is 40-80 percent more transmissible than previous strains.

Walensky said the Delta variant makes up nearly 10 percent of U.S. cases in June, up from 2.7 percent in May.

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