State issues health alert related to Delta variant

Coronavirus

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Health officials are asking people to get vaccinated. They say it’s the easiest way to stop spreading COVID variants.

Xavier Cruz, a 16-year-old from Hartford, says he wants to be safe.

“Because I travel so much, I think it’s important to make sure I’m safe and to keep my family safe,” Cruz said.

Cruz stopped by this pop-up clinic at the Learning Corridor in Hartford.

Many who came for the COVID shot were young, ranging in age from 15 to 20 years old. These are the people health officials want to reach. They’re the population now showing the highest infection rates.

This Manchester mom said it was time. She brought her teenage daughter to the clinic.

“She goes to boarding school in Massachusetts. She’s heading back to school. She’s also a soccer player so we figured now is the time to get it done,” Olga Mars said.

A Centers for Disease Control report revealed if you catch the COVID Delta variant, you can infect as many as six to nine people. Dr. Diedre Gifford, the Acting State Health Commissioner, says the news is unsettling.

“Delta variant is very contagious. This is why the CDC and DPH [are] making this recommendation that even vaccinated people wear a mask indoors,” Gifford said.

Despite Connecticut’s high vaccination rate among all age groups, health officials are now issuing a health alert. Whether you are vaccinated or not, they ask you to wear a mask indoors, especially if you live in one of the substantial community-spread counties in the state tagged by the CDC.

Litchfield and Middlesex are the only counties in the clear.

“We’re reaching to our young population and parents because schools are about to start and so this is an opportunity… and by the end of the first week of school you can be fully vaccinated,” said Hartford’s Health and Human Services Director Liany Arrayo.

Manchester mom Olga Mars is confident in her decision to get her daughter vaccinated.

“This step is another form of protection for her. I think she even said she is still going to wear a mask because some other kids will not be vaccinated,” Mars said.

Xavier Cruz’s best advice to teens: “If you don’t want to get it, you don’t got to… but you do you.”

Dr. Gifford has this message for everyone: “If you’re vaccinated, I want to remind everybody that vaccinated people are far less likely to become very ill with COVID because of the protection of the vaccine.”

COVID vaccines are readily available at hundreds of locations across Connecticut and everyone who is eligible should consider receiving the vaccine.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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