How the Delta variant is impacting our facilities

In recent weeks, COVID-19 has spread more rapidly across the U.S. as a result of the Delta variant. This has caused surges of new cases in some communities we serve.

New visitation restrictions at Florida locations

In Florida, COVID-19 transmission in the areas surrounding our facilities has reached a level at which we must revert to level red visitation guidelines to protect our patients and caregivers.

Effective at 7 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 2, red level visitation guidelines will apply at all Cleveland Clinic locations in Florida. View the details here. As part of this, Volunteer Services at Florida locations will pause until visitation guidelines move back to orange.

Ohio locations continue to follow orange level visitation guidelines at this time.

We are frequently monitoring COVID-19 data and trends to determine when or if we should consider any additional changes to visitation in either state.

Masking update and reminders

  • As of Tuesday, July 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention updated its masking recommendations for vaccinated individuals, recommending they wear a mask indoors in public when in an area of substantial or high transmission. This is defined as 50 new cases per 100,000 people during the last seven days.
  • Caregivers at all U.S. locations (both clinical and administrative) must continue to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status.
  • All visitors, outpatients and patients in the emergency department are required to wear a mask when inside a Cleveland Clinic facility. Inpatients are strongly encouraged to wear a mask.

What we know about the Delta variant

Because the Delta variant has been detected in at least 96 countries and caused recent surges of cases, knowing the facts is important in our efforts to work toward an end to this pandemic.

Here are some FAQs to help you understand the Delta variant, the cases we’re seeing as a result of its spread and how to best protect yourself.

How transmissible is the Delta variant?
Delta is twice as transmissible as the original COVID-19 strain. It is the most prominent strain in the U.S., where Delta has been detected in more than 80% of cases.

Which symptoms are most common for individuals infected with the Delta variant?
If symptomatic, infected people may experience milder symptoms, similar to hay fever. At this time, data does not suggest Delta increases likelihood of severe symptoms or death.

Which states are experiencing surges of COVID-19 cases?
In the U.S., all 50 states are experiencing the Delta variant; significant spikes are occurring in Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana and Missouri. A majority of these cases are occurring among non-vaccinated individuals.

Are the COVID-19 vaccines still effective? If so, how much?
Yes, full-dose vaccination continues to be the best protection against severe illness or death for all COVID-19 strains, including the Delta variant. The mRNA vaccines (e.g., Moderna and Pfizer) are 95% effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19 and hospitalization from COVID-19. (If you have not been vaccinated, you can receive your COVID-19 vaccine at these Cleveland Clinic locations.)

Does that mean I can still get COVID-19 if I am vaccinated?
Yes. Across the U.S. “breakthrough” infections and hospitalizations have occurred, meaning individuals who are fully vaccinated got infected and/or were hospitalized. However, 90% of hospitalizations from COVID-19 are in those who are unvaccinated. Overall, breakthrough cases represent a small percentage of COVID-19 cases.

What are the breakthrough cases like?
Most breakthrough cases we are seeing are mild. Those who have been hospitalized are generally patients who are older or who have compromised immune systems.

Does Cleveland Clinic's COVID-19 testing detect the Delta variant?
Yes, Cleveland Clinic is able to test for Delta and all known variants with our testing platforms.

What should I do if I am vaccinated and have COVID-19 symptoms?
Whether or not you have been vaccinated, call the Caregiver COVID-19 Hotline at 216.445.8246 if you have symptoms or may have been exposed. Florida caregivers should call 800.546.4149. Calling to explain your situation and ensure you are taking appropriate precautions doesn’t hurt!