The Delta Variant — What You Need to Know

A young mother kneels down to adjust her daughter’s protective face mask as she’s headed off to school, judging from the backpack the small girl is wearing on her back.

NOTE: MRI will be closing our PPE warehouses on September 30th, 2021. We are grateful to have been able to help keep you safe through this difficult time. Thank you for your support.

According to sciencemag.org, the Delta COVID-19 variant “caused between 80% and 87% of all U.S. COVID-19 cases in the last 2 weeks of July.” Every day we are inundated with news of the Delta variant surge. It seems impossible to keep up with new information, as data changes from day to day. In this article you’ll find every new piece of news and information regarding the fast-spreading variant, as well as best practices and protocols in terms of how to ensure that you and your loved ones stay safe.

A more contagious variant. By now we’ve all heard that the Delta variant is a more contagious version of earlier COVID-19 variants and that it spreads at much faster rates than the original COVID-19. How quickly does the delta variant spread? According to Florida Atlantic University, researchers suggest that the Delta variant spreads “more aggressively than previous virus strains because of a higher viral load carried by infected individuals.” Researchers suspect that Delta could be close to 50 percent more transmissible than Alpha, meaning that the average patient could infect 50 percent more contacts. Earlier in the outbreak, an infected person might transmit the virus to two or three people. Now, with the Delta variant, that number could be five to nine, resulting in the rapid spread we’re seeing in the United States right now.

Masks: vaccinated or unvaccinated, the best way to stay safe. The research shows that: 1.) the unvaccinated contract Delta at greater rates than the vaccinated, 2.) the unvaccinated comprise most of the current Covid hospitalized patients, and 3.) that, in rare cases, the vaccinated can contract and transmit the virus. While the current vaccination rate in the U.S. hovers around 50 percent of the population, there have been increasing reports of “breakthrough cases,” vaccinated people still contracting the virus.

After what appeared to be our long-awaited society re-opening—restaurants and movies and bars OH MY!!—we’ve already seen restrictions tighten back up again. At the end of July, President Biden, in accordance with new CDC guidelines, ordered that all federal employees wear masks when at work. Soon after, Target, Disney, Walmart, Starbucks, and other corporations followed suit, now requiring all staff to wear a mask when working. The city of Austin, like other cities and counties around the country, now requires masks on city and county property.

That said, The Hill reports that “Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are about 95 percent effective against symptomatic COVID-19; Johnson & Johnson is around 66 percent.” The same article reports that scientists suggest KN95 and N95 masks, as they are stronger than cloth masks in protecting against Delta. For the most part, breakthrough cases are milder than those who contract it who aren’t vaccinated at all; there are rare severe breakthrough cases, so whether or not you’ve been vaccinated, it would be wise to invest in the masks that promise to keep you and your family as safe as possible.

Those who are the most at risk are the unvaccinated, many of whom are immunocompromised and can’t get the vaccine due to health concerns. Let’s not forget that there has yet to be a vaccine developed for those under the age of 12; so our children remain at risk. Experts and the CDC agree that it’s safe to send kids back to school. Some schools have already instituted a mask mandate for all students and teachers; however, depending on the state where you reside, some schools might not have that option, as places like Texas have limited school districts’ ability to require masks. Luckily, all students have the option to wear a mask, and many parents are choosing to require their kids to wear one while at school.  Serious infections among kids is still low, but there is a steady increase in hospitalized children since Delta has become the dominant variant of the virus. A KN95 or N95 mask, rather than a cloth mask, should be your mask of choice for the littles, as it has proven to be most effective against Delta.

A woman teacher in navy slacks, a white button-down and a navy cardigan stands in front of a chalkboard filled with square root division problems. The students are pictured at their desks in front of the teacher, along with notebooks and pencils. The teacher and the students are all wearing masks.

A look at the numbers. According to Reuters In the last week of July, 33 states reported spikes in Covid infections. Wisconsin, North Dakota, and Florida reported the highest increases overall, but Texas, with its large population has the current highest number of numbers infected by COVID. The South continues to see rising rates numbers as well, with surges in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Arkansas. Texas reportedly lost 71 during the month of July, Louisiana lost 33, and California lost 60. Hospitals continue to fill up, but we are nowhere near the number of deaths lost during each of the listed state’s worst months the Chicago Tribune reported that in January of 2021, Texas lost 10,446 lives to the virus; in April of 2020, Louisiana lost 1,625 lives to COVID; in January of 2021, California lost 19,400 to Covid. Luckily, doctors have discovered better treatments for hospitalized COVID-19 patients before the Delta variant sent even more people to ERs and ICUs.

It’s not too late to get your inoculation shot. They are easy to come by these days, some places are even offering money or other rewards in exchange for you to get vaccinated. Whether or not you are vaccinated, however, consider ordering a KN95 or N95 mask from MRI today, so we can protect the immunocompromised, our children, and families, and our neighbors…let’s all work together towards a healthy and thriving country!

A photograph of diverse, healthy community members: children and adults from various backgrounds and identities.

A MESSAGE FROM MRI

To all of our valued customers over the last 16 months:

MRI has made the decision to close down our website (MRI-CARE.com) at the end of September 2021 as we conclude our PPE business.  There is still ample supply of protective masks and PPE in our warehouse.  If you have any needs, please place your orders within the next 40 days. Keep in mind, we have lowered our prices and offer free shipping to all of our customers.  In light of what is going on with the Delta variant, it may be a good idea to play it safe and place new orders.

We would like to also take this opportunity to thank you all.  While this has been a very difficult time in our lives, hopefully MRI has helped you and your loved ones with our PPE.

Stay safe.

Your friends at MRI

About MRI

MRI offers a full line of available FDA-approved face masks for industrial or personal use – along with other protective personal equipment:

  • Non-surgical isolation gowns
  • Daily use masks
  • General use face masks
  • Sterilized, individually wrapped masks
  • KN95 masks
  • N95 masks
  • Level 1 face masks
  • Level 2 face masks
  • Latex-free masks

MRI makes it easy for you or your business to donate FDA-approved, thoroughly tested disposable masks and PPE to worthwhile charities and organizations. Born from philanthropy, MRI came into being through our desire to help and educate people through this challenging time. Check out our “Send a gift of PPE” page on our website!

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