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Kern Public Health explains the rise in Delta cases

"This virus is getting smarter, it’s getting more aggressive.”
Delta variant July 29, 2021
Posted at 10:23 PM, Jul 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-30 01:23:04-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — Kern County Public Health says testing for the Delta Variant is completely different than testing for the original strain of Covid-19 and that is done on the state level. But not all cases are being tested for the variant so there are likely more cases of the Delta Variant not yet identified.

"I also think it’s very very important that folks understand when you see our dashboard today is reporting 37 of the delta variants, not all the Covid tests are sequenced to determine this is from a variant," said Michelle Corson from Kern County Public Health. "So we likely have an additional variant activity that is not being identified here in Kern County.”

After only reporting eight Delta Variant cases Kern Public Health reported 29 new Delta cases Thursday.
Chief Medical Officer for Central California from Dignity Health, Hemmel Kothary said they do not test all patients with Covid for the Delta Variant at their hospitals.

"If you have been vaccinated those are the cases that we send out to the Department of Public Health and then they go out to the state to see if it is a Delta Variant or any other kind of variant,” said Kothary.

The state test for the Delta Variant is completely different than testing for the regular strain of Covid-19. Corson said this means there is likely a backlog in cases reported of the variant.

The Delta Variant which is highly transmissible remains a concern with medical experts since it is spreading rapidly.

“In the past, we would say you have to have 15 minutes of exposure to someone in order to get the Alphavirus," said Kothary. "But now it’s probably a few seconds, so this virus is getting smarter, it’s getting more aggressive.”

Health experts agree the best way to protect yourself from getting it is through a vaccine.

“According to the CDC, getting vaccinated not only helps protect you from Covid-19 but it's determined to be very effective against the variants and even the delta variant,” Corson

Kothary said there’s a Lambda variant that was first identified in Peru, popping up that people should be aware of. With the rise in variants, public health will once again start updating their cases every weekday.