By Andria Borba

SAN MATEO COUNTY – As the clock ticks toward a broad California re-opening, there’s a new COVID-19 variant to consider: Delta.

“If this Delta virus wasn’t around I would be very enthusiastic with everything we’re doing with reopening. As it is, I am cautiously optimistic about the reopening tomorrow,” says Dr. John Swartzberg of UCSF.

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Delta is both more easily spread and causes more severe disease, but most in the Bay Area should be safe.

“If you’re fully vaccinated, your risks are really quite low,” Dr. Swartzberg said.

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The Delta variant is doubling nationally every two weeks. The concern is for the unvaccinated or only half-vaccinated.

“It’s gonna go to you, you’re the one who’s going to get infected. You’re the one who may wind up in the hospital and you’re the one who may die. It’s just another argument in the very long line of arguments for getting vaccinated.”

Dr. Peter Chin-Hong, an infectious disease specialist at UCSF says he has every confidence with the high vaccine rates in the Bay Area, but worries about less vaccinated communities and what happens come tomorrow.

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“Undoubtedly, an uptick in cases. When people move around there are cases but my prediction is these cases will burn themselves out, they will not sustain, because there are not enough vulnerable people congregating together,” says Dr. Chin-Hong.