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With coronavirus delta variant spreading, will facemask recommendations return to San Antonio?

Experts say unvaccinated people should continue to wear masks and practice social distancing, and that vaccines should protect from contracting the variant.

SAN ANTONIO — The coronavirus delta variant is spreading across the nation.

“It’s a worse player than the other COVID viruses that have been in the community previously,” said Dr. Robert Leverence, chief medical officer of the multispecialty medical practice at UT Health San Antonio.

The variant is inching its way closer to the masses in Bexar County.

“It takes all of us and not just some of us to get us over the finish line with the pandemic,” San Antonio Assistant City Manager Colleen Bridger said.

Bridger says right now the delta variant makes up more than 20% of all coronavirus cases in the county. With only 62% of people in Bexar County 16 and older vaccinated, medical experts are wary of what the future holds.

“This fall we definitely expect to increase our recommendations for mitigation with wearing mask and distancing,” Dr. Leverence said.

In Los Angeles County, officials are urging all of their residents to wear masks in public indoor places again to stop a surge. That’s a recommendation Dr. Leverence says could be coming to this area if vaccination numbers don’t improve.

“The greater message for this delta variant is if you’re not vaccinated yes you have reason to be concerned, and I would certainly be wearing a mask and distancing and wearing a mask. All of the things we know help prevent spread,” Dr. Leverence said.

Dr. Leverence says their message to the public is still the same. To avoid any pandemic-related setbacks, getting vaccinated will help.

“If you are vaccinated you’re probably unlikely to get it, and if you do it should be mild,” Dr. Leverence said.

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