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Delta Variant becomes dominant COVID strain in California

CENTRAL COAST, Calif. (KION) The Delta variant is the dominant strain in California and has been detected on the Central Coast. Local experts said it's only a matter of time that this more contagious variant dominates our Central Coast as well.

”Right now, as I speak to you, millions of Americans are still unvaccinated and unprotected," said President Joe Biden. "This is an even bigger concern because of the Delta variant."

Testing and vaccination efforts have been key in fighting this pandemic. But a new variant is sweeping across the country and now in our tri-counties. So far, three cases of the strain have been confirmed in Monterey County, four in Santa Cruz County, and three in San Benito County.

“When you're next to somebody who is infected, and you're unvaccinated, it's much more likely for you to catch it now than it said two, three months ago," said Dr. Ghilarducci "That Delta variant is so successful that it's going to become the predominant variant in our, in our state in our counting very soon.”

Because the Delta Variant is more transmissible than any other variant we've seen. County health departments on the Central Coast said it's important for unvaccinated residents to continue to get tested. But also vaccinated people who fear they may have it.

“We're starting to see an uptick in testing, I think the delta is starting to scare some people," said Dr. Ghilarducci. "That's the only way we're going to detect any variances through testing. So regular testing then leads to the special testing that tells us whether there's a variant involved.”

Dr. Ghilarducii said there are likely more cases with Delta on the Central Coast that have gone undetected. However, he also said that this variant will not be the last, which is why he said people should continue to get vaccinated.

Dr. Pierre LaMothe in Monterey said with people who decided to not be vaccinated are overstating the risk of the vaccine and understating the risk of covid.

“If I get the vaccine something bad could happen so I won’t," said Dr. LaMothe. "Well, it's not get the vaccine and have nothing happen. It's get the vaccine or get COVID cause covid is not going away and if you don’t get vaccinated you’re gonna get it.”

Central Coast / Monterey County / San Benito County / Santa Cruz County / Video
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Jonathan Sarabia

Jonathan is a multi-media journalist at KION News Channel 5/46.

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