RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – A new CDC report on COVID-19 outbreaks and breakthrough cases shows just how quickly the delta variant is sweeping through communities.
Data from the report was collected following outbreaks that stemmed from large indoor and outdoor events in early July in Massachusetts. The CDC said the data is why it’s urging vaccinated people to wear masks again.
“We’re in a very fluid situation here where rates are increasing, so a mask is a very simple thing we have learned to do well over the previous 12 months,” said Dr. Cameron Wolfe, a Duke Health infectious disease expert.
The CDC’s latest data draw from an outbreak of 469 COVID-19 cases at large events. It found 74 percent of those infected were fully vaccinated. Of those infected, four, or 1 percent, ended up in the hospital. Half of those hospitalized already had underlying conditions.
“For the vaccinated, this has tended to be a very mild illness. Even if someone gets a breakthrough infection, they may feel like a common cold or common flu virus, which is reassuring,” Wolfe said.
Even in outdoor settings, those in a crowded place for a long period of time, Wolfe said the delta variant means there’s a higher likelihood of getting infected now.
Though infections happened, the low number of people falling seriously ill showed the vaccines are still doing what they were intended to do.
Dr. Mandy Cohen with the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services reported this week the original strain of COVID-19 could be transmitted from one person to up to three people. The delta variant can spread from an infected person to six others.
“This is a moment of rapid, viral spread driven by a highly contagious virus, finding and infecting those who are still unvaccinated,” Cohen said.
It’s why the CDC’s latest report said even in low transmission areas, cities should consider universal indoor masking. It’s something cities in North Carolina are slowly starting to turn back to.