RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The variant of COVID-19 that infected eight N.C. State baseball players can infect twice as many people as the virus last year, doctors say.
N.C. State is not yet saying if those players are required to quarantine, what contact tracing is underway, how many people they have infected or where they are.
COVID-19 cases led to N.C. State being pulled from the College World Series as eight players tested positive for the Delta variant.
Officials said some of them were vaccinated, but it is not clear if they were fully vaccinated. N.C. State hasn’t clarified.
“The Delta variant of this virus is beginning to infiltrate our state and is more contagious and dangerous,” said Gov. Roy Cooper.
On its website, N.C. State asks students to tell them when they test positive for COVID-19, so its health care team can conduct contact tracing.
That means talking to each person who tested positive, finding out who they may have exposed, then contacting those people too – ultimately, advising people to quarantine.
“We understand the gravity of eight players testing positive and the fact that this is the Delta variant, which is a variant that came from India that’s super contagious,” said N.C. State Chancellor Randy Woodson.
Doctors said they are mostly concerned about those who are not vaccinated.
“Because the virus evolves to become more fit just like someone exercises and becomes better to run better to climb that’s what happens with these viruses, they become better at being transmitted from one person to another,” said Dr. David Wohl with UNC-Chapel Hill.
An N.C. State spokesperson said face coverings are still required inside classrooms and labs this summer.
Unvaccinated students will keep being tested if they live in university-owned housing. The same goes for unvaccinated employees.
“It’s moving through our population of unvaccinated people, and it shows we need to get our vaccines now,” said Cooper.
The CDC doesn’t break down variant cases reported by state online, but it does break them down by region.
According to the CDC, the Delta variant made up about 4 percent of COVID-19 cases in the Southeast during a two-week period that ended June 5.
That’s compared to about 1 percent of the cases for the two-week period that ended May 8. So, the rate has quadrupled in the span of about a month.