Health experts fear a spike in COVID-19 cases after July Fourth celebrations, particularly as the highly contagious delta variant of the coronavirus is spreading so rapidly across the region. They say they are especially concerned for people who are unvaccinated, given the delta variant’s virulence. The delta variant is responsible for 44% of COVID-19 cases in New York City — double last week’s percentage — and 15.6% in New Jersey.
“Understand that you are at risk of severe disease and death because of the delta variant in ways you never were before,” said Dr. Shereef Elnahal, President and CEO of University Hospital, Newark. A new Monmouth University poll shows that fewer people expect to attend holiday events, like barbecues and fireworks shows, than in pre-pandemic 2019.