DOTHAN, Ala. (WDHN) — As COVID spreads and hospitalizations continue to skyrocket across our state, one physician from the Wiregrass is begging people to rethink everything they’ve heard about COVID and the Delta variant.

According to Chief Medical Officer for Southeast Health, Dr. George Narby, at this point the Delta variant is infecting more and more people with COVID, spreading now at the highest rate than ever during this pandemic. He said this is causing the rules and guidelines for staying safe and being protected against the virus to change.

Narby wants people to understand the major difference between the original strand of COVID, and the Delta variant is how contagious the virus is. He said the Delta variant is as contagious as Chicken Pox. This is why the CDC recommends both vaccinated and unvaccinated in areas considered ‘very high risk’ for the spread of the coronavirus to continue practicing very important guidelines.

“Those people who are vaccinated and get COVID can also spread the disease,” Dr. Narby said. “Albeit for a shorter period of time, and perhaps less severely than those people who are unvaccinated but never the less.”

Narby said in order to defeat the Delta variant and COVID, it’s important for people in the Wiregrass to go back to the basics: meaning masking up, practicing social distancing, and continuing proper CDC sanitizing protocols.

He said you are five times less likely to get sick, and 20 times more likely not to end up hospitalized if you get the vaccine.

“I think it’s important that everyone takes science for what it is,” Dr. Narby said. “It is science. People should strongly consider reviewing the CDC recommendations, and understand where and why those recommendations are out there.”

Narby said it is important for everyone to do their own research and investigation when it comes to information to find about COVID-19. He said the worse scenario could be listening to wrong information that can turn deadly.

“Because of how contagious the Delta variant is, the most prudent thing to do is abide by the CDC recommendations and wear a mask while indoors, regardless of your vaccination status,” Dr. Narby said.

Narby once again wants to emphasize when it comes to the coronavirus or any of its variants, it’s important for people not to believe what they’ve heard from their family friends, or what they read online. He said the best source of information will come from medical professionals.

He strongly encourages people to research any myths or misconceptions they hear.