The highly contagious coronavirus delta variant continues to be a concern across the country and here at home in Riverside County.
Local health officials confirm there have been seven reported delta variant cases in Riverside County so far.
“It has been able to spread faster in people who are unvaccinated,” said Dr. Shubha Kerkar, Director of Infectious Diseases, Desert Regional Medical Center.
Dr. Kerkar says they are prepared to handle any influx in cases they might see after thousands gathered for the Fourth of July holiday.
“We have learned a lot of lessons over the last year. We have not let our guards down,” she said.
County numbers show that 65 people total are currently hospitalized with coronavirus — that’s up 16 patients since Friday.
Dr. Kerkar explains the delta variant is considered more contagious and brings a higher chance of severe symptoms.
“My message is...variants are inevitable,” she said.
She says your best defense against any variant is still, simply, ensuring you and those around you are fully vaccinated.
“What we also know...is that vaccinated people, actually, are nearly 100% protected against severe disease from any COVID-19 virus. Whether it’s this variant or the original native virus," she said.