RHD COVID-19 Delta Variant Response and Overview
July 28, 2021
At RHD, it’s our top priority to ensure the health, safety, and overall well-being of our staff and those we serve. For the first time in more than a year, we’re feeling hopeful—or at least cautiously optimistic—that the COVID-19 pandemic could recede into the background. But experts caution that new mutations of the virus could bring it back, possibly even stronger than before.
A major concern right now is Delta, a highly contagious SARS-CoV-2 virus strain, which was first identified in India in December. The first Delta case in the U.S. was diagnosed in March and is now the dominant strain here. As the variant continues to spread, our COVID committee, Risk Management team, and clinical leadership are vigilantly watching and following all CDC guidelines.
Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease doctor, has described the Delta variant as “the greatest threat in the U.S. to our attempt to eliminate COVID-19.”
The Delta variant is concerning for the following reasons:
- It is much more contagious than the alpha variant (for every 1 person infected, it infects 8 others vs. 2-4 others for alpha).
- It is rampant in unvaccinated populations causing cases, hospital rates, and mortality to rise again across the U.S. after a period of decreased case counts.
- It is more prevalent in younger adults and children who are ineligible for vaccination.
- Daily case numbers have increased at least 15 percent over the last two weeks in 49 states, including 19 states that are reporting at least twice as many new cases a day.
During this challenging time, it’s important that RHD community members remain alert, stay informed, and stick to all other measures to stop transmission. This includes the 4 w’s: wait and don’t go out if you have symptoms or have had close contact with someone with COVID-19, wash hands, wear masks, and watch your distance from others. Also, follow advice from the CDC and our local health authorities.
Vaccination continues to be our best defense against this 4th wave of the pandemic. RHD is committed to providing the vulnerable populations we support, stakeholders, and individuals throughout the organization with information and resources about each of the COVID-19 vaccines. We’ll also assist all staff/individuals who choose to get vaccinated.
Resources can be found on RHD’s COVID website and the CDC website, as well as FPCN’s website.
Please refer to your state and local health departments for up-to-date vaccine guidelines and resources from the CDC: https://www.cdc.gov/publichealthgateway/healthdirectories/healthdepartments.html
Additional guidelines and up-to-date vaccine information:
- PA Department of Health: www.health.pa.gov/Pages/default.aspx
- Philadelphia Department of Public Health: www.phila.gov/services/mental-physical-health/environmental-health-hazards/covid-19/
- Center for Disease Control: www.cdc.gov/vaccines/covid-19/index.html
- World Health Organization: www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus
Vaccines in your area:
For more information and updates, please visit the media center on the RHD website.
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