As you have probably seen in the news, genetic variants of SARS-CoV-2 have been emerging and circulating around the world throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Most notable variants are the B.1.1.7 (Alpha), B.1.351 (Beta), P.1 (Gamma) and B.1.617.2 (Delta) variants, which seem to spread more easily and quickly than other variants and may lead to more cases of COVID-19. An increase in the number of cases will put more strain on healthcare resources, lead to more hospitalizations, and potentially more deaths.
Delta Variant and Updated CDC Guidance
The Delta variant is reported to account for more than 80% of new COVID-19 cases, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). With the rise in cases, the CDC released new guidance for vaccinated individuals, including:
- Wearing masks indoors in areas of high transmission
- Getting tested and isolating if you are experiencing symptoms or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19
Here is a summary of the changes for fully vaccinated individuals.
Variant Testing at BioReference
BioReference offers a RT-PCR (nasal swab) test for COVID-19 detection, which will determine if an individual is infected with COVID-19. While BioReference’s COVID-19 tests do not report the specified variant, they detect infection, even if it’s a variant strand. For example, if an individual is infected with the Delta variant, the individual will receive a positive COVID-19 result, but the result will not specify that it is Delta.
Got Symptoms? Get Tested
If you are experiencing symptoms or think you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, stay safe and stay put, and let us come to you.
Variant Detection and Treatment of Positive Cases
The CDC has not issued specific guidelines for individuals sick with Delta or other variants. At this time, individuals should follow guidelines for when you are sick with COVID-19, including:
- Stay home and isolate from other people
- Monitor symptoms and call a healthcare provider if symptoms worsen