What there is to know
- The delta variant was found in 41% of the positive NYC samples studied, compared to 26% in the last Department of Health report; the previous week, delta was found in 17.1% of the samples tested
- This strain is now also the most prevalent in New Jersey, accounting for 40.7% of samples sequenced in the past four weeks, down from 26.8% a week ago and 7.3% two weeks earlier.
- Existing vaccines have proven effective protection against the variant; virtually all new COVID-related deaths and hospitalizations are in unvaccinated people, officials from all levels of government say
The highly transmissible delta variant is now the most dominant COVID-19 strain in New York City, dropping from around a quarter of positive samples tested to over 40% in one week as the seven-day moving average of the five boroughs jumped 62%. , according to new data from the health department released on Friday.
On Friday, the delta variant that first devastated India before spreading globally – and is thought to be up to 60% more contagious than this widely followed first alpha variant – accounts for 41% of samples from the city tested in the past four weeks.
That’s an increase of 26% in the City Variants Report a week ago and 4.9% in about six weeks, an increase reflecting a national trend that has seen the Delta emerge as the most COVID variant. dominant in the United States last week.
It took only 14 days for delta to go from the fourth most common COVID strain in the city to the first, first surpassing the so-called New York strain that initially emerged in Washington Heights before spreading elsewhere, B.1.526, then gamma, formerly known as the Brazilian strain, P.1 and now alpha.
Scientific evidence has shown that the delta spreads much more easily than previous strains of the virus and has more serious consequences for those infected, prompting further pressure from all levels of government to get people vaccinated. they weren’t.
Delta, the variant that was first found in India and is now found in at least 104 countries, has dramatically increased its prevalence in the United States over the past month, now accounting for well over 50% of samples tested. , according to the CDC.
The World Health Organization, which has called it the “fastest and fittest” variant yet, expects it to become the dominant strain globally.
Given the relatively tiny subset of positive samples sequenced to assess potential variations in the strain, the CDC and local experts estimate that the prevalence of delta, which is classified as a variant of concern, is much higher than that reported. .
The Delta variant of COVID-19 is found in New York City – and Staten Island experiences a higher workload than any other part of the city. Chris Glorioso speaks with health officials on the issue.
The variant is blamed for an increase in cases across the United States which has seen cases double in the past three weeks after months of decline. All but two states – Maine and South Dakota – have reported an increase in cases in the past two weeks. While hospitalizations and daily deaths remain relatively low, these are lagging indicators and could increase as the delta spreads into unvaccinated areas.
In New York City, the new seven-day case average this week is up 62% from the seven-day average for the previous four weeks, according to city health data. Last week, that average only increased by 32% over the same period. The averages of daily hospitalizations and deaths are both down in the latest study period compared to the previous week.
Existing vaccines are expected to protect people against delta and other variants of concern that have emerged, but with only about 68% of U.S. adults having received at least one dose of the vaccine and less than 60% fully immunized, delta’s increased transmissibility and the associated risk have been renewed. concerns.
In New York City, where state data shows nearly 65% of the adult population is fully vaccinated and more than 70% have received at least one injection, authorities are warning of the delta and are doubling down on their message to get vaccinated with a sense of urgency. who was absent from the mayor’s briefings last month.
Mayor Bill de Blasio pointed to a pre-print analysis of a new, yet to be peer-reviewed Yale and Commonwealth Fund study earlier this week that he said shows the vaccine rollout in New York City has saved more than 8,000 lives and averted hundreds of thousands of new cases of COVID in the five boroughs.
In a lengthy Twitter thread, he described a number of measures the city has taken to further increase immunization rates, including rolling out mobile sites in under-vaccinated communities, launching door-to-door to disseminate the vaccine. message and home vaccination. services to any eligible New Yorker who wishes.
The city has also expanded its referral bonus program for local nonprofits and has focused heavily on encouraging private doctors to encourage their patients who have not yet been vaccinated, for whatever reason, to be dosed now.
Now is an opportunity to support the city’s progress against COVID-19, de Blasio says, and to leverage the effectiveness of existing vaccines to limit the spread of the delta.
Baseline viral rates are consistently at or near all-time pandemic lows in New Jersey as well. Like New York, the Garden State is monitoring variant data, and like New York, it has seen the prevalence of delta increase statewide in recent weeks.
This strain is now also the most prevalent in New Jersey, accounting for 40.7% of samples sequenced in the past four weeks, down from 26.8% a week ago and 7.3% two weeks earlier.
Gov. Phil Murphy has repeatedly declared new COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths in New Jersey to reflect “an unvaccinated pandemic.”
Don’t know how the process works? Check out our Tri-State Vaccine Site Finder and FAQs here
New York City and New Jersey Vaccine Suppliers
Click on each provider to find more information about scheduling appointments for the COVID-19 vaccine.