Novel Coronavirus 2019 (Covid-19) (CDC Image)

MONTEREY COUNTY — Three residents have been infected with Covid-19 that was caused by the Delta variant, confirmed Monterey County Health Department on Thursday.

According to Public Information Officer Karen Smith, the Health Department has been monitoring the emergence of variants of the virus that causes Covid-19 since March.

“A strain called the Delta variant has been increasing globally and now accounts for 20% of specimens on which genome sequencing has been completed in the U.S.,” Smith said in a news release. “The Delta variant has been detected in several California counties, including Monterey County.” 

As viruses change through mutations, they create new strains called “variants” over time. Multiple variants of the virus that causes Covid-19 have been identified globally during the pandemic.

Health officials become concerned about a variant when it affects virus transmission, severity, testing, treatment or vaccine effectiveness. Smith said the Delta variants are “concerning because they appear to be more contagious than other variants.”

“Vaccinating as many people as soon as possible is the best way to slow the spread of Covid-19 and limit the impact of variants like the Delta variant on our communities,” stated Dr. Edward Moreno, Monterey County Health Officer and Director of Public Health, in the same news release.

Monterey County health officials urge the public and businesses to continue to follow these core principles to keep the entire community safe:

  • Get vaccinated and encourage others to get vaccinated. All federally authorized vaccines work well and will help keep you, your family, and your friends healthy.
  • Move activities outdoors. Outdoor activities pose less risk than indoor activities. 
  • Follow California Department of Public Health Guidance for the Use of Face Coverings ( Unvaccinated people, including children ages 2 to 11 years old, should continue to wear a face covering in public settings and businesses. Vaccinated people should also wear a face covering on public transit, in schools and daycare centers, in health care facilities, and in congregate living settings like jails, shelters, and cooling centers.
  • Maintain distance from others. Social distancing from those who do not live with you is effective at keeping the coronavirus away.
  • Avoid crowds. The fewer people you encounter and the fewer interactions you have, the lower the chance the virus will spread.
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Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.


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