Celebrating safely: Dr. Avula urges masks for unvaccinated as delta variant spreads
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - As we celebrate our independence as a nation and from the pandemic, there are still concerns about the delta variant and its impact.
“We fully expect that we will see more and more of the delta variant,” said Dr. Danny Avula, Virginia Vaccine Coordinator.
By and large, Virginia’s Vaccine Coordinator says we’re in a good spot across the state. But in Richmond, where vaccine rates are lower, Dr. Avula worries the delta variant could be a problem, especially in crowds.
“They should recognize that we do have the potential to see outbreaks due to this delta variant and that they should take precautions,” said Dr. Avula.
71% of adults in the state have one dose. In Richmond, it’s about 55%. 48 cases of the delta variant have been identified in Virginia. Nationally, that variant now makes up more than a quarter of new cases.
This holiday weekend, Avula says those who are fully vaccinated can attend cookouts and gatherings without wearing a mask. He says the delta variant is primarily an issue for unvaccinated populations.
“I absolutely understand that people have hesitations, that they don’t know what to believe,” said Dr. Avula.
Avula says a big issue they’re trying to combat right now is wrong information. In the city, they’re relying on trusted groups to make headway in communities seeing few vaccinations.
“It really is a more targeted issue of communications and engagement,” said Dr. Avula.
Avula is also warning parents to get their child vaccinated if they are eligible because the school year is right around the corner and with the approved vaccines right now they need two doses. He says parents should expect masks this fall in school as well.
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