The latest results of genomic sequencing from the Tulare County Public Health Laboratory suggest that nearly all COVID-19 cases in this area are due to the highly infectious Delta variant. With the Delta variant being more contagious and spreading rapidly in Tulare County, it is very important for all individuals to wear a face covering when indoors in public buildings or businesses and when outdoors in crowds. Masking is required for all unvaccinated individuals, and vaccinated individuals are strongly advised to wear a face covering due to the high degree of infectiousness caused by the Delta variant.
“It is imperative for everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible to decrease the spread of this highly infectious Delta variant and stall any potential for other COVID-19 variants to mutate and develop in our community,” said Tulare County Public Health Officer Dr. Karen Haught. “COVID-19 hospitalizations have drastically increased, our local hospitals are at full capacity, health care workers are significantly strained, and medical resources are limited. We all must do our part to decrease the spread of COVID-19 by getting vaccinated and following public health guidelines.”
During the upcoming Labor Day holiday weekend, it remains extremely important that all residents continue to maintain safety precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19, knowing the highly contagious Delta variant continues to spread at alarming rates in Tulare County. Everyone needs to take all necessary precautions to limit the spread of COVID-19, so we refrain from continuing to overwhelm our local hospitals. Getting vaccinated against COVID-19 is proven most effective, and implementing prevention measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 can also make a safer environment for our children who are not yet able to be vaccinated, as we are seeing increased evidence of the COVID-19 virus causing infection and serious illness in school-aged children.
Everyone eligible for the vaccine who has not yet been vaccinated should get vaccinated now to protect yourself and protect your family. Everyone also needs to adhere to other essential layers of prevention, including face coverings in indoor public spaces and crowded situations, avoiding crowds and gatherings, and social distancing as much as possible. In addition, everyone is encouraged to frequently wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer, regularly disinfect high-touch surfaces, and stay home if you are sick or instructed to isolate/quarantine by a medical or public health professional.
Individuals experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should contact their doctor or health care provider to get tested as soon as possible. Those who test positive for COVID-19 are urged to speak and cooperate with representatives from Tulare County Public Health when contacted, to help slow the spread of the COVID-19 variants.
COVID-19 vaccines continue to be highly effective at protecting and preventing severe disease, hospitalization, and death. Hospital data show that a vast majority of those requiring hospitalization for a COVID-19 illness were people who were unvaccinated. Officials strongly urge residents to get vaccinated for COVID-19 as soon as possible. Visit the Tulare County COVID-19 Vaccine webpage at: https://covid19.tularecounty.ca.gov/covid-19-vaccine/ for vaccination locations, including a full listing of health care providers and local pharmacies offering COVID-19 vaccinations.