The health department says the delta variant now accounts for more than 35% of new COVID-19 cases in the state, up significantly from 5% of California cases in May.
“What amazes me is not only that it’s the most common, but that the rate of increase is really dizzying,” said Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, infectious disease expert at UCSF . “We expect it to exceed 90% in a few months, if not a few weeks.
Chin-Hong noted that there is also a possibility that the delta variant could cause more severe symptoms as well.
“The fact that it produces more virus and people produce the virus for a longer period of time not only makes it more transmissible but potentially more deadly,” he said.
Flamingo Nail Salon in Walnut Creek has taken no chances since it reopened in February. Even after the state lifted its mask mandate for those vaccinated last month, the salon decided that masks would still be mandatory.
“We can’t verify everyone’s vaccination card, so we don’t know who is vaccinated,” said manager Tiffany Nguyen. “That’s why we’re doing this. It’s better. “
But while some companies are taking every precaution, others fear a second mask term will crush them.
“To be honest, at this point, I don’t know what to do,” said Brioche de Paris owner Sam Kheriji.
Kheriji said he suffered too much during the pandemic and said his customers would not agree to put the masks back on.
“There’s not much I can do,” Kheriji said.
In the meantime, people who have not yet been vaccinated are encouraged to do so.
“This is a really good time to get the vaccine if you haven’t because at the moment things are still pretty calm in the Bay Area, but we don’t know how long that calm will last.” Chin-Hong said.