The delta variant, which originated in India, began spreading rapidly and making news around the middle of June 2021. Here’s what health experts have learned about the delta variant:
Delta variant symptoms are the same
The symptoms of delta variant symptoms appear to be the same as the original version of COVID-19. However, physicians are seeing people getting sicker quicker, especially younger people. Recent research found that the delta variant grows more rapidly – and too much more significant levels – in the respiratory tract.
Typically, vaccinated people are either asymptomatic or have mild symptoms if they contract the delta variant. Their symptoms are more like those of a common cold, such as cough, fever, or headache, with the addition of significant loss of smell.
How to schedule your coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine
UC Davis Health is offering two COVID-19 vaccines to protect you and your family:
- Pfizer/BioNTech: Primary series approved for ages 6 months and older. Bivalent boosters are also available for ages 5 years and older.
- Moderna: Primary series approved for ages 6 months and older. Bivalent boosters are also available for ages 6 months and older.
You can schedule your primary series or booster vaccines at UC Davis Health. Scheduling is available through MyUCDavisHealth or California’s centralized scheduling system MyTurn.ca.gov. UC Davis Health patients can also schedule an appointment by calling 916-703-5555 Monday-Friday 8 a.m.–5 p.m.
Suppose you’ve had a recent COVID-19 infection. In that case, the CDC recommends delaying your primary series dose or booster doses by 3 months after symptoms first appear or a positive test.
Those under 18 years old will need to have a parent or legal guardian provide consent for treatment at their appointment. UC Davis Health accepts written or verbal consent. It’s also advised that anyone under 18 have someone drive them to and from their appointment. With any vaccine, there’s an increased risk of fainting for children under the age of 18, according to the CDC.
COVID-19 face masks: Your questions answered
COVID-19 cases have declined, so the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its mask recommendations. The agency notes that people “can choose” N95 or KN95 masks. It adds that N95 masks offer “the highest level of protection.” But the CDC also makes it clear that whatever the type, the most important thing is to wear a well-fitting mask consistently to prevent infection.
Depending on your and your family’s risk factors, some people may wish to continue wearing masks in high-risk situations. Those situations include being indoors with those who don’t live in your household or while traveling on an airplane, etc.
On Feb. 28, 2023, California’s COVID-19 State of Emergency ended. Mask mandates were already lifted in most situations before this state of emergency ended. However, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) still requires people in the following high-risk settings to wear masks regardless of vaccination status:
- health care settings
- long-term care settings and adult and senior care facilities
Yes. Masking requirements are still in effect for all healthcare settings in California, per CDPH guidelines. This includes all UC Davis Health neighborhood clinics and UC Davis Medical Center.
View UC Davis Health clinic policies for caregivers
View UC Davis Medical Center visitor policy
- Are N95 masks the best at protecting against the omicron variant?
- How can I spot a fake N95 or KN95 mask?
- Are surgical masks effective in protecting my family and me from COVID-19?
- What’s the best kind of cloth face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19?
- Which masks or face coverings should I avoid?
Should children wear face masks?
There is strong evidence that adequately worn N95 or KN95 masks are the most protective in blocking the spread of COVID-19. The CDC updated its mask recommendations to include these two masks, adding that N95 masks offer “the highest level of protection.” If an N95 mask is unavailable, a surgical mask covered with a cloth mask can be very effective.
If you’re in an enclosed space where you can’t distance yourself from people, like in an airport or airplane, it’s recommended that you wear some form of an N95 respirator. Two examples are N95 and KN95 masks. The N95 is the American standard with straps around your head. The KN95 is the Chinese or Korean standard and has ear loops. The “95” in its name means it filters out 95 percent of microparticles.
About 60% or more of KN95s circulating in the U.S. are fake. It would help if you looked for a brand name, serial number, and lot number, which are almost always printed on the real ones. In addition, N95s will be printed with the acronym “NIOSH,” which stands for National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health.
Yes. Because of how easily the omicron variant can spread, it’s recommended that people upgrade their masks from cloth to surgical masks. Surgical masks are inexpensive and are made of three layers. They should thoroughly cover your nose, mouth, and chin.
Long as possible throughout the day
To minimize contamination from hands, wear your mask as long as possible throughout the day. It would help to replace your surgical mask every 24 hours and whenever it’s visibly soiled or dirty. after all, Between uses, you can keep it inside a clean paper bag.
It’s best to use a medical-grade rectangular surgical mask if available because they are standardized and known to prevent infection. If you wear a cloth mask, choose one that’s functional rather than fashionable. See how many layers it has: the more layers, the better. Cloth masks with multiple layers – such as those with a pocket for a filter – will offer the most protection.
If you hold a cloth mask to the light, you don’t want to see much light penetrating through. Cover your nose and chin, adjust the bendable nosepiece to fit, and tighten the ear loops. If your ear loops are too loose, you can buy adjusters to tighten the loops behind your ears or wrap them behind your head.
You should wash and dry your cloth masks regularly – preferably after daily use. So it’s a good idea to have extras on hand while others are in the wash.
Homemade masks don’t prevent transmission but can reduce the quantity and size of COVID-19 droplets you transmit or are exposed to.
Masks with filter ports can increase the spread of COVID-19. They’re designed for people working around caustic fumes or chemicals – and they force out the air you breathe through the port. Instead of protecting someone from you, they propel your breath, and possibly droplets with the virus, even farther and more forcefully.
N95s with the filter in the middle also do not prevent someone from spreading the virus. They filter the air coming in but do let air out.
Available in the U.S. are counterfeit
The majority of KN95 masks available in the U.S. are counterfeit. Double-check the CDC website to ensure that National Institute approves any KN95 mask you plan to use for Occupational Safety & Health.
According to CDC guidelines, children over 2 should wear a face covering in public unless they have a health reason not to. However, children under age 2 should not wear masks because they can be choking hazards and can cause breathing trouble, and the bands that go around the head can be strangulation hazards. In addition, children of that age cannot reliably remove their masks independently and could suffocate. View this video and story PDF from the UC Davis MIND Institute to help teach your child about wearing masks.
Learn how to schedule your COVID-19 vaccine at UC Davis Health
Learn the symptoms of COVID-19 and what symptoms will likely show first
Many unvaccinated patients with COVID-19 wish they had gotten the vaccine.
UC Davis Health physicians have noted that a number of younger patients, when they come in with critical illness, say that they wish they would have gotten the COVID-19 vaccine. Many patients have told their physicians, “Why did I not get the vaccine?” or “Why did I not listen?”
Read from UC Davis Health: Patient shuns COVID-19 vaccine, then changes his mind after hospitalization.
Wear masks to protect against delta and other variants, even fully vaccinated.
Health experts across the country are wearing masks themselves even though they’re fully vaccinated to protect against the delta variant and other COVID-19 mutations. They’re also advising vaccinated people to avoid large gatherings and mask up indoors where the vaccination status of other people is unknown.
UC Davis Health experts answer your questions about masking
Learn how to schedule your COVID-19 vaccine at UC Davis Health
Omicron BA.5 delta variant symptoms have taken over.
In the late summer and fall of 2021, the delta variant symptoms were the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the U.S. Since the summer of 2021; the omicron BA.5 variant took over as the main mutation of COVID-19 in the fall of 2022. Although the omicron BA.5 variant is likely more contagious than any other strain, that is to say, it generally causes less severe symptoms than the delta variant.
Get the latest on the omicron BA.5 variant and symptoms.
Scientific knowledge of COVID-19 treatments continues to grow, but there is still more to learn. UC Davis has played an essential role in the global effort to find adequate care for COVID-19 patients and will continue to adapt treatments as research advances.
If you test positive at home, Paxlovid is a helpful treatment to decrease the chances of hospitalization and long-term symptoms. Most people can receive a prescription for Paxlovid from their primary care provider.
Patients receiving primary or specialty care from UC Davis Health can schedule a telehealth video visit appointment with Express Care. Primary care patients can also call their primary care clinic office.
Make a telehealth video visit appointment with UC Davis Health Express Care.
What treatments and medications are being used for COVID-19?
Remdesivir (brand name Veklury) is being used to control viral infection. Dexamethasone is used to control the immune response to infection. These treatments assist with recovery for those diagnosed with COVID-19.
Paxlovid (a pill made by Pfizer) and molnupriavir (a pill made by Merck) have received emergency use authorization as treatments by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Both are used for outpatients and not patients requiring hospitalization for COVID-19 infection.
- Paxlovid was the first to be authorized in Dec. 2021. It’s for treating mild-to-moderate COVID-19 in adults and children ages 12 and older who weigh about 88 pounds or more. The medication is recommended for those with one or more risk factors for becoming very ill due to COVID-19. This treatment should be given within five days of the onset of symptoms.
- Molnupriavir treats mild-to-moderate COVID-19 infection in adults at high risk for developing severe COVID-19. It is available by prescription only and is not authorized to be used for patients younger than 18. This treatment should be given within five days of the onset of symptoms.
What to do if you test positive for COVID-19
A guide to recovery at home for patients and their families
If you’ve tested positive for COVID-19, you may be worried for yourself and others you’ve recently spent time with. Below are steps to ensure you have the best chance for recovery and to help reduce your chance of infecting others.
With a confirmed positive COVID-19 test, after all, you are most likely being sent home to rest, stay away from others, and recover. This is the case for more than 95% of people, as their symptoms do not require hospitalization. but, Some people have a higher risk for complications and should be monitored extra closely. For most people, COVID-19 symptoms tend to go away naturally as the body works to recover from the infection.
Get more information on quarantine and isolation guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).