Delta, the highly transmissible SARS-CoV-2 variant that was first detected in India and became dominant around the globe during the summer of 2021, dashed hopes for a smooth transition out of the COVID-19 pandemic. So what is its status now? What other variants might emerge? And when can we finally move forward into the “new normal?”

After dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic for more than 20 months in the U.S., it’s understandable that people are tired and want to move on. And in early summer, after the first surge of vaccinations and with fewer cases than at any time since the beginning of the pandemic, it looked like that might be possible. Unfortunately, the emergence of the highly transmissible Delta variant of SARS-CoV-2 shortly after that ended those hopes. Delta has spread quickly, especially within populations with low vaccination rates, bringing with it another wave of illness, hospitalization and death.  Read more