Delta variant in York County: What you need to know to protect yourself and your family

Tina Locurto
York Dispatch
Amanda and Mitch Nace of East Berlin, peruse a grain silo display with their daughter Izzy, 4, at the York State Fair Monday, July 26, 2021. The fair's opening weekend was well-attended, according to a fair spokesperson. Bill Kalina photo

A surge in new COVID-19 cases and the spread of the delta variant of the coronavirus prompted new guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week.

The delta variant, a version of the virus that causes COVID-19, is a more contagious form that can spread and quickly infect areas with lower vaccination rates, according to Dr. Matt Howie, director of the York City Bureau of Health.

“The delta variant is one such strain that has shown to be much more transmissible," Howie said. “We’ve seen this variant emerge and spread, and it certainly spreads in areas with lower vaccination rates."

Like what you're reading? Please consider subscribing to support local journalism like this.

The CDC released new guidelines this week recommending that even fully vaccinated individuals should wear masks indoors and in areas of high COVID-19 transmission.

Stacked up against the rest of the state, York County falls about right in the middle for total vaccinations, Howie said.

As of Wednesday, 190,691 York County residents had been fully vaccinated. An additional 14,985 residents are partially vaccinated, according to state data.

READ MORE: York County schools relax COVID masking policies, despite CDC guidance

“Our vaccination program as a county has been successful, even though we haven’t reached levels I would still like to be at," Howie said. 

Though the delta variant can spread much faster than other versions of the virus, almost all symptoms are identical. Howie suggests that if an individual is feeling even a little sick, to mask up and stay home.

Even those who are fully vaccinated can contract the delta variant — and the jury is still out on if it will cause more illness, he added.

“We learned over the past year, if you don't feel good, that's not the time to go out in public and be around individuals," Howie said.

In addition to mask wearing, getting vaccinated is one of the best ways to protect against COVID-19, he added.

WellSpan Health now is transitioning to vaccination services at four York County sites:

  • WellSpan Family Medicine-Roosevelt Avenue, 1401 Roosevelt Ave.
  • WellSpan Family Medicine-Stony Brook, 422 East Market St.
  • WellSpan Family Medicine-Spring Grove, 430 N. Main St. No. 4, Spring Grove. 
  • WellSpan Family Medicine-Stonebridge, 13515 Wolfe Road, New Freedom. 

To schedule a vaccine, call 1-855-851-3641 or visit the WellSpan website. Individuals do not have to be WellSpan patients to receive the vaccine, and there is no cost to do so. 

“I think that we would be foolish not to recognize the reality that we're all exhausted from COVID," Howie said. “But I think that we just need to be supportive of each other. We're talking about protecting each other and the community."

— Reach Tina Locurto at tlocurto@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @tina_locurto.