Columbus’ top doctor urges caution as COVID-19 delta variant starts to spread


COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Health officials across the country and in central Ohio are raising concern about the spread of the COVID-19 delta variant.

“It’s definitely a concern for me and for public health, but really for everyone, it should be a concern,” said Columbus Public Health Commissioner Dr. Mysheika Roberts.

According to Roberts, the symptoms of the delta variant are believed to be the same as those of the regular COVID-19, but is believed to be more contagious and more lethal.

Roberts said she does not have access to information on how widespread the variant is in Franklin County or Ohio, but as it spreads throughout the country, she shared her thoughts on wearing a face mask.

“There’s been some new information out there from the World Health Organization that has recommended that even vaccinated people should wear a mask because of the delta variant,” Roberts said. “Again, I think that’s a personal choice. I would say, when you’re around people and you don’t know whether you’re in mixed company or not — meaning you don’t know if people around you are unvaccinated and you are vaccinated — I would still wear a mask when you can’t guarantee who you’re around, or you don’t know the status of those you’re around. If you’re not vaccinated, I would say you should definitely be wearing a mask because that’s clearly what the CDC has recommended and guided people to do.”

Roberts is also urging anyone who is not vaccinated to get their shots.

“The sooner you can get vaccinated, the better,” she said.

Columbus Public Health is giving vaccinations at its headquarters, located at 240 Parsons Avenue. The clinic there is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. No appointments are needed.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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