Will Delta variant bring new CA restrictions? Newsom says it depends on vaccinations

The Delta variant now accounts for more than 51% of new COVID-19 cases across the country. Los Angeles County public health officials recommend everyone wear masks inside regardless of their vaccination status. At the state level, Gov. Gavin Newsom says that might not be needed.

"If we continue to get people vaccinated that'll be unnecessary, and this is the call that anyone who hasn't been vaccinated get vaccinated," said Newsom.

Across California, anyone who has been hospitalized or passed away due to COVID-19 has not been vaccinated, according to Marin County Public Health Officer Dr. Matt Willis.

"I'm not surprised that the governor is having to face some tough decisions about what the next steps are. The fact is that the Delta variant is increasingly present across the state of California and the Bay Area. It is more infectious and is contributing to cases especially among unvaccinated people," said Dr. Willis.

Delta has become California's most identified strain of the coronavirus, accounting for 35.6% of the variants analyzed in June, a steep increase from May, when the number was just 5.6%, according to the California Department of Public Health.

Los Angeles County health officials have said the county's recent increases in daily infections and testing-positivity are being fueled by the rise in COVID-19 variants, particularly the Delta variant. They added that with 4 million residents in L.A. County still unvaccinated -- including 1.3 million children who aren't eligible for shots -- there is enough risk for the variant to pose a significant threat.

Ferrer said last week 245 cases of the delta variant have been confirmed in the county, nearly double the number from the previous week. The county conducts only limited sequencing tests needed to identify the variants, so the number cannot be extrapolated across the population, but delta has become the most dominant variant detected in the county.

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City News Service contributed to this report.

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