COVID-19 rates remain relatively low, Delta variant concerns rise

Centinela Hospital's CMO, Dr. Paryus Patel, addresses growing concerns of the Delta variant.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- While COVID-19 positivity rates remain relatively low compared to six months ago, about 1% for the seven-day daily average in Los Angeles, there are new and growing concerns from the Delta variant.

Many are now looking at the Delta variant's role in the pandemic, and what that means for the future.

"It is highly contagious. We haven't seen it be as fatal as the original variant yet, but still a lot remains to be seen since it's highly contagious," said Dr. Paryus Patel, chief medical officer at Centinela Hospital in Inglewood. "Precautions and preventions still prevail particularly more with non-vaccinated patients."

Patel said there hasn't been a delta variant case in Inglewood yet, but the treatment and precautions would remain the same. He said most importantly this is the time to not let our guard down.

"The precautions are not any different," Dr. Patel said. "That includes hand washing, hygiene masks... facial coverings, if necessary, isolate people with positiveness or known with symptoms."

Patel said viruses don't typically thrive in summer temperatures, however he is concerned about people potentially being in large group settings without masks.

"People getting outside, gathering outside in open spaces does not pose much as high as a risk as indoor crowded spaces or group gatherings in a very close environment," Patel said.

Patel said Centinela Hospital sees about four positive COVID-19 cases a day and of those cases about 99% are not vaccinated.

"We should encourage the population to get vaccinated as much as we can," Patel said. "Understand this typical vaccine takes time to perfect, but this is the best option we have to curtail the spread."

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