Photo: Positive cases of the Covid-19 delta variant on the rise in heavily vaccinated Belmont
With the percentage rate of vaccinated residents passing 70 percent and the number of residents who have been ‘jabbed’ closing in on 20,000, the rate of infection from the Covid-19 virus increased steadily in the past month, according to Belmont’s Health Department.
“Our numbers are ticking up,” Health Department Director Wesley Chin told the Select Board at its Monday, Aug. 30 meeting. In July Belmont had 25 total cases; so far with one day left in the August, there have been 92 postive cases. And up to half of those are “breakthrough” cases which occurs when a person who has been fully vaccinated becomes infected with the coronavirus.
Chin said after the Massachusetts Department of Public Heath conducted genomic sequencing of samples from Belmont, “to no surprise roughly 90 percent of our cases are related to the Delta variant.” The Delta variant of Covid-19 is roughly twice as infectious as the original virus, sending twice as many of those infected to the hospital than other variants. Thankfully, said Chin, “most of the individuals reporting and experience of minimal to moderate symptoms.”
“But I think of most concern what we’re noticing is we’re seeing spread in households. And so, if someone is infected with it, they’re bringing it home and it’s impacting other people in their home,” said Chin, noting that currently children under 12 can not be vaccinated.
“So the takeaway message is to be very careful when you’re out in public and indoor spaces. Make sure you wear a mask something to remember if, especially if you live to someone that’s unvaccinated or immunocompromised,” he said.
When asked what the town can do to promote vaccinations, Chin said it would be helpful to possibly partner with the school district “to see if we can in some way offer (vaccines) to that segment – elementary school students – of the population That would be a good thing to do.”