Delta variant is much more infectious


August 12, 2021

Howdy, Haines. Science Cowboy here, to set some facts straight. Interim borough manager Alekka Fullerton was recently quoted as saying that people need not worry about having been potentially exposed to COVID during a visit to the borough offices, because they wouldn't have been inside and in contact for the fifteen minutes it takes for an unmasked, indoor encounter to result in transmission of the virus. While that figure has been widely published for the original COVID-19 strain, the delta variant now accounting for over 80% of new positive cases is much more infectious. Celine Gounder, a clinical professor of medicine and infectious disease at NYU's Grossman School of Medicine, says that the delta variant is so much more infectious that exposure time of one second is equivalent to fifteen minutes of the original strain.

I think that our rush to "get back to normal" too soon is exactly what has set us all back in our progress towards breaking the pandemic. High rates of mask-wearing and physical distancing practiced in Haines during the beginning of this mess helped keep our case count very low. Obviously, so did travel restrictions. The vaccine is certainly a big help, but it doesn't prevent the transmission of the delta variant. It ain't over yet, folks, as much as we all wish it was.

Mark Fontenot


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