Western Pennsylvania will not face a Delta COVID-19 variant crisis, local doctor says

PITTSBURGH — The Delta variant won’t cause the crisis we saw at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Pittsburgh-area infectious disease physician Dr. Amesh Adalja.

He believes life can still go on and hospitals won’t be overwhelmed.

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“The impact of the Delta variant is going to have is going to be completely related to the percentage of high-risk, unvaccinated individuals you have,” explained Dr. Amesh Adalja.

He also says the impact will vary from region to region.

“In a place like western Pennsylvania where you have a high percentage of seniors (who) have been fully vaccinated, we will see Delta cases, but they won’t translate into hospitals in crisis.”

But other parts of the country may see more cases and hospitalizations.

“Delta is going to be something you see hit states in the South much more aggressively than in the North because of the gradation of vaccination rates that you see,” explained Dr. Amesh Adalja.

The key, according to Adalja, is getting as many people vaccinated as possible.

“The Delta variant is really not an issue for the vaccinated. It’s solely something that the unvaccinated need to worry about.”

According to the CDC, the Delta variant makes up 25% of new COVID-19 cases in the U.S.