How The Delta Variant Is Affecting Kansas City

As cases of the Delta variant increase in the area, many Kansas Citians are questioning what this means for their day-to-day lives: mask mandates, their health, traveling and many more inquiries. KC Primary Care knows how important COVID tests are and how urgently results are needed/wanted.

When you are a member of KC Primary Care, you and your loved ones pay a flat fee of $35 to receive unlimited testing. No matter your symptoms or lack thereof, we understand the urgency of peace of mind. No matter the time or day of the week, KC Primary Care is here to meet all of your COVID needs and much, much more. Additionally, when you’re a member of KC Primary Care, you receive medical services 24/7.

Delta Variant Information for the United States
According to the Washington Post, currently, the Delta variant of COVID-19 has become dominant in every part of the United States, accounting for an estimated 96% of COVID cases in the Midwest and 82.2% in the entire country. Early research indicates that the Delta variant is about 50% more contagious than the alpha variant. According to Time Magazine, “The Delta surge is also unlikely to die out before the school year when millions of children — many of them unvaccinated — will be mingling together in classrooms. More and more employers, meanwhile, are demanding remote workers return to the office, though some are mandating vaccines or testing. With so many factors in flux, it’s impossible to predict how the U.S. Delta surge will play out.”

Mask Mandate
As of July 27, the CDC has now reversed its mask policy, urging people in parts of the United States, regardless of vaccination status, to wear masks in public places. While the CDC says the COVID vaccines are working in some cases, vaccinated people can still pass on this illness. The Kansas City, Missouri Health Director Dr. Rex Archer told Fox4, “There’s no question that the Delta variant is surging here in Kansas City,” said. According to the CDC tracker, every county around the Kansas City metro area on both sides of the state line is experiencing a COVID surge. “I think we’ve got to weigh quite a few things going forward. But I can tell you, any prudent person, if the CDC recommends it, you should be doing it whether there’s a mandate or not,” Archer said.

A Return to the “New Normal”
Forecasts from the CDC predict that the number of cases and deaths will increase in the United States now that the Delta variant is dominant. This increase may mean reverting back to preventative measures we saw in 2020. “In communities where we are starting to see real concerning surges in hospitalizations and cases, even vaccinated people need to be doing their part to slow transmission in the community as a whole,” said Lauren Ancel Meyers, an epidemiologist at the University of Texas at Austin and director of the U.T. Covid-19 Modeling Consortium, told the NY Times. According to the Washington Post, “The delta variant is showing every day its willingness to outsmart us and to be an opportunist in areas where we have not shown a fortified response against it,” said CDC Director Rochelle Walensky.

Effectiveness of Vaccines
Data proposes that all three vaccines offer strong protection against severe cases of the Delta variant and death caused by this variant. According to the Washington Post, William Moss, a professor of epidemiology at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, said, “I think this is a really important point because that’s our primary goal with our vaccination effort: to prevent severe disease, to prevent hospitalization, to prevent deaths.” When it comes to Pfizer-BioNTechr and Moderna, both doses of the shots are needed to protect you from the Delta variant. A study published in mid-July in the New England Journal of Medicine discovered that the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine was 36% effective against symptomatic disease caused by the Delta variant after the first shot of the two-shot regimen, but 88% effective after the second shot. Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna are similarly manufactured, so they have similar effectiveness. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine, however, showed that it had a diminished immune response to the Delta variant in some laboratory tests. According to the Washington Post, President Joe Biden said, “The good news is that our vaccinations are highly effective,” “Fully vaccinated Americans have a high degree of protection, including against this Delta variant.”

What People Can Do to Protect Themselves
The first step to staying protected, according to health experts, is to get vaccinated and wear a mask. On July 27, the CDC stated, “Everyone living or working in high-transmission communities should resume wearing masks in indoor public spaces, including the vaccinated.” It also recommended that vaccinated people with vulnerable household members, including young children and those who are immunocompromised, should wear masks indoors and in public spaces. According to the Washington Post, Mariângela Simão, the WHO’s assistant director, said, “People cannot feel safe just because they had the two doses. They still need to protect themselves.”. To protect yourself and your loved ones, if you feel ill, make sure you stay home and have limited to no contact with others.

What People Who are Immunocompromised Should Do
Health experts urge the immunocompromised to get vaccinated and always wear a mask when out. The CDC is also trying to implement a program that allows sick people to get unapproved drugs. According to the Washington Post, “Members of an advisory panel on vaccines spoke at a July 22 meeting about the need to give additional doses to people with fragile immune systems amid growing concerns about waning immunity. The existing authorization of the vaccines permits only a two-dose regimen of the Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna vaccines, or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson product.” Beyond vaccines, immunocompromised individuals should socially distance, stay indoors when applicable and avoid crowds. Getting tested consistently if symptoms occur is also essential to the immunocompromised.

Back-To-School Safety
There is no research to date that the Delta variant affects children more than the Alpha variant. According to the Washington Post, “​​Because Delta is more contagious than earlier variants, children are at somewhat greater risk of infection. Those who are 12 and older are eligible for vaccines, and federal health officials recommend they be immunized for greater protection.” In addition, the CDC recommends unvaccinated children ages two and older should wear masks regardless if they’re indoors or outside. The CDC also suggests parents make sure their unvaccinated children wash their hands often with soap and water; avoid close contact with those who are coughing, sneezing or complaining of feeling unwell; and limit interactions with people who are at high risk of developing severe disease. According to the Washington Post, ”If you haven’t had covid, you’re not vaccinated and you’re not wearing a mask, you’re basically asking for Delta trouble,” said Eric Topol, a professor of molecular medicine and executive vice president at Scripps Research. “It’ll find you. It’s the most efficient form of the virus for finding hosts, by far. If you’re not vaccinated, a mask is important right now.”

How this Variant Affects the United States
According to the Washington Post, since 160 million Americans are vaccinated, research suggests the Delta variant won’t have the same effects on the United States as the Alpha variant did. Health experts anticipate that this variant will rise in communities where vaccination rates are low.

Symptoms of the Delta Variant
People that have had this type of variant report symptoms of headache, sore throat and runny nose. There have been no reports of loss of smell or taste.

Questions Regarding Booster Shots
This is a question that researchers and experts are leaving open-ended. At this time, officials are not recommending an additional shot. Data released by Israel’s Health Ministry showed waning vaccine efficacy against the coronavirus in that highly vaccinated country as the delta variant became more widespread. The data showed that vaccinated people retained protection against severe disease and hospitalization, but they had markedly lower protection against infection and symptomatic illness.

Next Steps
The best way to handle this variant is to stay safe, healthy and follow similar practices implemented in 2020.

For more information on our COVID testing plan or KC Primary Care, call us at 816.479.5222, visit us at 1412 B NW Vivion Road, Kansas City, MO 64118, or email us at KC Primary Care is here for you, no matter the issue, no matter the symptoms, no matter the time, no matter the day. Receive concierge medical care 24/7 when it’s convenient for you. Try out a new way of primary care, exclusive to Kansas City. Be a part of a better medical and health experience where the health professionals put you and your loved ones first. When you join KC Primary Care, you’re a part of our family!

Having peace of mind is just as important as having results. When you join the KC Primary Care family, you have minimal wait times, have a longer time with your doctor, personalized care plans, a comfortable office, at-home visits, visits through telehealth and insurance is accepted.


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