New delta variant of COVID-19 causes an influx of cases

Delta variant can affect both vaccinated and unvaccinated people

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The Delta variant of COVID-19 is causing safety regulations and guards to go back up at American River College in the fall semester of 2021. (Photo via Unsplash)

Maya Barber, Staff Writer

Over the past year-and-a-half, there has been a worldwide virus attacking the lives of many people. As three new vaccines became available, they allowed many to start living their daily lives again. 

Schools began to reopen, businesses gained more revenue and many people’s fears started trickling down. Right as life got back to a degree of normalcy, a variant of COVID-19 called the Delta variant came and changed the course of action. 

The Delta variant emerged as a notable hazard in July and has affected many, even people who are vaccinated. It has caused individuals to be hospitalized and numbers to rise again. 

Many guidelines went back into place, including the mask mandate in indoor establishments, this includes the Los Rios Community College School District.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Delta variant is highly contagious, more than twice as contagious as previous variants. The greatest risk of transmission is among unvaccinated people who are much more likely to get infected and therefore transmit the virus.

The Los Rios Community College School District has provided a document, COVID-19 PREVENTION PROGRAM (CPP), that is available on the ARC website. It represents the American River College following the CDC’s recommendations. However, they are offering a few fall classes on campus and other student services.

According to Scott Crow,  ARC’s communications and public information officer, the Los Rios Community College District Board of Trustees voted to require COVID-19 vaccinations for all employees and all students who access district and college facilities by no later than Oct. 1. 

Some students who are back on campus say they are experiencing a range of emotions about the dynamics and social interactions with the variant after being completely virtual for about a year.

“Before the Delta variant, I liked the idea of class on campus. When we were online, I missed waking up early to drive to school. It kind of refreshed my brain for the day,” ARC student Atlantis Doug said. “However, I do not think campus should be back open right now because it is not worth the risk of getting sick.”

The Delta variant is worrisome for both staff members and ARC students.

“I am back to being really scared and worried again. Safety precautions did not become as strict as they were when covid first happened and that worried me,” Doug added.

The Los Rios Community College District has issued a Standard Operating Procedure Pdf on its website to reassure students who are on and off-campus to help prevent the spread of the variant. 

“Students play a vital role. If you feel sick, stay home and contact your instructor(s) to let them know. If you test positive for COVID-19, do not come to campus. Wear a mask properly indoors,” Crow said. “Observe proper hygiene by washing your hands frequently. If you’re not vaccinated, get vaccinated. Every student can be an ambassador for the health and safety of our communities.”

The Delta variant has affected many all over the world and has changed the safety precautions for all. For more information, click here to read CDC’s guidelines on how to stay safe and healthy.