Message from CT health leaders: ‘The delta variant is coming for the unvaccinated’

Coronavirus

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) – Governor Ned Lamont was in New Haven Monday to give an update on the state’s coronavirus vaccination efforts.

A COVID-19 vaccine clinic is held on the New Haven Green every day, but they are not seeing many people anymore. That’s raising concerns as there’s still not a lot of people who are vaccinated.

This comes as the state’s positivity rate has risen above 2% twice last week.

RELATED: COVID will become the ‘disease of the unvaccinated’ says Yale infectious disease doctor

Connecticut is near the top of the list of states doing it right. Some 70% of the population is vaccinated, but the number getting that shot each day has shrunk, even as more people are getting sick from the Delta variant.

New Haven’s health director Maritza Bond told the crowd on the Green Monday that she understands the mistrust in the minority community, but says she is battling a lot of misinformation.

Dir. Bond said, “As a woman of color, I am asking – and I’m going to ‘ring the alarm’ like Beyonce says – and encouraging our communities of color to step up. This is not a joke. This variant is coming and it’s coming for us. I get it. I’m on the pulse of the community. I get that there’s mistrust, but I don’t want you to be misinformed.”

Coach Reggie Lytle of James Hillhouse High School added, “We deal with a lot of kids. They could take it home to their grandparents, their parents, uncles, aunts, and family members. So I encourage Pop Warner, all high school student-athletes and coaches to get the shot.”

RELATED: CT’s COVID-19 positivity rate is at 1.73% with 10 more hospitalizations since Thursday

It’s the youngest, those 12 and up, who need to get their shots now so that they can get protected before heading back to school.

The experts say that even if they only see 10 to 20 people a day at a clinic, more people are protected from the virus.

Gov. Lamont added that more vaccines are what is going to make things like mask mandates unnecessary.

With doctors seeing more of the Delta variant circulating, News 8 spoke with a Yale School of Medicine pediatrician who said they are seeing cases in children going up.

Dr. Carlos Oliveira says the only time someone fully vaccinated should wear a mask is if that person has knowingly been exposed to the virus, then they should mask around those who are not vaccinated, such as young children. Other than that, it’s safe to be mask free.

“From what information we have right now on the Delta variant and the vaccines, that probability of you being infectious and infecting other people is still very low, which is why if you’re fully immunized it makes sense that you don’t have to wear a mask,” Dr. Oliveira said.

So far the severity of the Delta variant in children is about the same as other variants.

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