RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — The eight North Carolina State University baseball players who tested positive for COVID-19 over the weekend have the Delta variant of the virus, according to N.C. State University Chancellor Randy Woodson.
After COVID-19 forced the Wolfpack out of the College World Series, the university reported that some of the players who tested positive had previously been vaccinated.
Infectious disease experts from Duke and UNC say that’s unusual if the players were fully vaccinated.
“The reality is that for vaccinated people the number of breakthroughs typically are incredibly low,” explained Duke infectious disease expert, Dr. Cameron Wolfe.
Currently, the CDC only tracks breakthrough cases that result in hospitalization or death. CDC statistics show 4,115 of those cases among more than 150 million fully vaccinated people.
If fully vaccinated people do test positive, doctors say they’re less likely to get very sick and less likely to spread the virus.
“If you’re unlucky enough to be one of the breakthroughs, your symptoms are mild. Often they are nonexistent,” Wolfe said.
Woodson and N.C. State Director of Athletics Boo Corrigan provided an update on the university’s official athletics department website Monday afternoon. That’s where Woodson revealed the news about the Delta variant.
“We understand the results. Believe me. There’s no questioning the results,” Woodson said. “We understand the gravity of eight players testing positive and the fact that this was the Delta variant, which is…super contagious and is quickly emerging in the country as potentially another wave of infection. So we understand. That’s of concern.”
The highly contagious Delta variant is becoming more common in the United States and is rapidly spreading among young people.
“About a month ago it was 3 percent then it jumped at 6 percent and more recently they are saying 20 percent,” said Dr. David Wohl with the UNC School of Medicine.
Although the numbers are growing, doctors say the vaccines we have are still protecting people from COVID’s worst consequences.
“At the end of the day, surely the biggest advantage of any vaccine is to keep you from getting sick enough to go to the hospital or heaven forbid pass away that is the goal here,” said Wolfe.
An N.C. State University spokesperson says they trust the protocols in place and don’t plan on making any changes. The university says face coverings are still required in classrooms and labs this summer and surveillance testing is required for unvaccinated students living on campus and unvaccinated employees dealing with people face to face.
CBS 17 reached out to the athletic department to see if it’ll affect protocols for upcoming camps or workouts but we haven’t heard back.