Helping Coloradoans Understand the COVID-19 delta Variant

The delta Variant, also known as B.1.617.2, was first detected in India and is now the leading strain in the US. So far, COVID-19 vaccines appear to protect people against the delta variant.  This strain seems to be more prevalent in areas where there is lower vaccination rates.  We encourage anyone not vaccinated to still get vaccinated.  Nearly all COVID-19 deaths in the US are among the unvaccinated. At this time the CDC does not recommend a 3rd booster shot.  They may change as we approach the fall season.

In Australia, they are seeing more lambda variant which could be more infectious than the delta variant and possibly more resistant to the vaccines.  Our flu season typically follows what happens in Australia and is what is used to make the vaccines.  We suspect we will see some increase in testing as we move into the fall season.  The requirements for testing may also change based on if the strains are resistant to the vaccines.

Last but not least, certain mutations in the epsilon variant are being found. The variant also known as B.1.427/B.1.429 was first found in CA.  The takeaway point is that there are several strains of COVID which are all detected by PCR.

I have attached the lastest CDC screening testing recommendations for K-12 Schools.

Screening Testing Recommendations for K-12 Schools by Level of Community Transmission

This is likely going to change several times as COVID-19 and its Variants are still very much a moving target.
Low Transmission1 Blue Moderate Transmission Yellow Substantial Transmission Orange High Transmission Red
Students Do not need to screen students. Offer screening testing for students who are not fully vaccinated at least once per week.
Teachers and staff Offer screening testing for teachers and staff who are not fully vaccinated at least once per week.
High risk sports and activities Recommend screening testing for high-risk sports2 and extracurricular activities3 at least once per week for participants who are not fully vaccinated. Recommend screening testing for high-risk sports and extracurricular activities twice per week for participants who are not fully vaccinated. Cancel or hold high-risk sports and extracurricular activities virtually to protect in-person learning, unless all participants are fully vaccinated.
Low- and intermediate-risk sports Do not need to screen students participating in low- and intermediate-risk sports.2 Recommend screening testing for low- and intermediate-risk sports at least once per week for participants who are not fully vaccinated.

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