Valley doctors spark concern in delta variant ahead of holiday weekend
As the Fourth of July weekend kicks off, Mahoning Valley doctors warn about the fast growing delta variant.
"We don't want to lose everything that we have gained these last 18 months by letting our guard down," said Dr. Munir Shah, Infectious Disease Specialist at Trumbull Regional Medical Center. "So, take all the proper precautions. Wear hand sanitizer and wear the surgical mask wherever you go."
Shah said if you're in an enclosed environment, even if you're fully vaccinated, it's not a bad idea to leave that mask on.
If you're unvaccinated, Shah said to make sure you have that mask on at all times.
"I think if you're outdoors, we have found that to be the best environment for socializing for those that are unvaccinated," said Dr. Jill Stefanucci-Uberti, V.P. of Medical Affairs and Emergency Physician with Mercy Health. "Certainly, though, with the new variants that are out, we need to be cautious of who we are around."
"If you have a medical problem or if you're much older, I think if it was me, I would wear a mask inside," said Governor Mike DeWine ahead of the holiday weekend.
Dr. Dee Banks, Infections Disease Physician, told 21 News the concern this weekend is in unvaccinated people and the potential of moving backwards to yet another mask mandate if cases rise.
"We have to follow the trajectory of the virus," Banks said. "We need to be mindful in how it's spreading and, if anything, I think we need to do a full court press on getting people vaccinated. This delta variant looming over us is a concern."
Banks also said the vaccination rate isn't anywhere close to even remotely approaching heard immunity.