PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The summer surge of the coronavirus continues and transmission rates moved into the substantial range across most of the tri-state region. Being in the substantial range means that everyone should be wearing masks inside regardless of vaccination status and that covers almost all of our region.
In New Jersey, new vaccine requirements were announced in an effort to protect the most vulnerable.READ MORE: 'This Is What We Do In A Small Town': Mullica Hill Residents Continue Recovery Efforts Weeks After Tornado
New research came out Monday from the University of Pennsylvania showing the spike in cases is being driven by the Delta variant.
“The spread of Delta variant and its widespread impacts are no longer something we can look at casually,” New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said.
Gov. Murphy announced a new mandate this afternoon that workers in high-risk congregate settings in the Garden State will be required to be fully vaccinated or undergo routine testing by Sept. 7.
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The vaccination mandate is applicable to the following employers:
☑️Ancora Psychiatric Hospital
☑️Ann Klein Forensic Center
☑️Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital
☑️Trenton Psychiatric Hospital
☑️Paramus Veterans Memorial Home
☑️Menlo Park Veterans Memorial Home pic.twitter.com/r2h1Kh1Qpe
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) August 2, 2021
The CDC tracking map now shows almost all of New Jersey in orange, indicating substantial rates of transmission — and Cape May County, along the Jersey Shore, is high.
It’s mainly among people who aren’t vaccinated, but there are also a growing number of breakthrough cases.
“The vaccine greatly enhances your protection from the virus,” Murphy said.
While vaccinations have increased slightly, the virus continues to spread. It’s now at substantial rates everywhere in Delaware, and in Pennsylvania, Montgomery, Bucks and Delaware Counties join Philadelphia in the substantial range.
“Our very most recent samples were all Delta, so it’s coming on very strongly,” Dr. Fredric Bushman said.
Dr. Bushman runs the lab at the University of Pennsylvania, which is doing genomic sequencing on COVID samples and now, for the first time, the purple indicates the Delta variant accounts for almost all of the recent coronavirus cases.
“We’ve been a little behind other places in the U.S but now it’s here,” Bushman said.MORE NEWS: President Biden Approves Disaster Funding For Two More Pennsylvania Counties
Not only is the Delta variant more contagious, but it can also infect people who are vaccinated and can spread the virus. However, experts say being vaccinated reduces the risk of severe illness.