Tag Archives: delta

Keeping up with context via the latest data on the delta variant

Photo by Gilbert Mercier via Flickr

In the past month, there have been a growing number of U.S. studies showing that because of the SARS-CoV-2 delta variant, COVID-19 vaccines aren’t as effective in preventing infection as they were with the original 2020 coronavirus strain. But the data still show they are strongly protective against hospitalization and death.

The significance is that the studies were conducted in the U.S. Last month, the CDC changed its indoor mask mandate recommendations for fully vaccinated people as initial studies, mostly from other countries, had begun showing that with the delta variant, COVID-19 vaccines weren’t as effective in preventing infection as they were with the original strain. Continue reading

Story ideas for covering the delta variant and return to K-12 classrooms

Photo by Nenad Stojkovic via Flickr

As children return to school in the coming weeks, it is increasingly clear it will not be the return to normal that many people had envisioned at the beginning of this summer.

The transmissibility of the delta variant of the coronavirus – one infected person can infect up to seven people – and the fact that kids younger than 12 remain unvaccinated, mean school systems may have to update their COVID-19 mitigation measures developed for reopening in the fall of 2020 and spring of 2021.

On Aug. 5, the CDC released updated guidelines to schools for reopening plans, due to the delta variant, that include prioritizing in-person learning, vaccination for all eligible staff and students, universal masking of students, staff and visitors, physical distancing of students in classrooms by at least 3 feet, regular testing to screen for asymptomatic infection, improvements in ventilation and disinfection of surfaces in schools. (The CDC guidelines are recommendations, not requirements.) Continue reading

Put risk in context in covering latest on Delta variant and CDC mask guidance

Photo: Petra Wessman ia Flickr

I am sure many of you are scrambling to cover the latest about the Delta variant and the leak of data that informed the CDC’s change in mask guidance this week.

The data – leaked to the New York Times and the Washington Post Thursday evening (July 29) – showed those vaccinated can still be contagious, and there are more vaccinated people becoming infected than expected: 35,000 a week of 162 million vaccinated.

It sounds scary, but the key thing to remember in your reporting is to put risks in context: “Vaccinated people can transmit Delta if infected, however the majority of transmission is still by UNVACCINATED – that is where the focus should be,” said Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and an excellent health communicator, on Twitter Friday, July 30. Continue reading