SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) — With the Delta variant on the rise, many are wondering is it time to mask up again?

Dr. Yurochko, a Professor and Vice-chair of Microbiology and Immunology at LSU Health Shreveport, said by now one ought to know that “masks absolutely work” — and his stance on it is abundantly clear, citing Delta variant is more infectious and anyone who is more vulnerable or who has underlying health issues should mask up.

“… At present it’s a decision that each individual person has to make since there isn’t a mask mandate,” he said.

The city of Shreveport released a press release on Friday noting that new COVID-19 cases have climbed rapidly in the last three weeks, with 97 COVID patients currently hospitalized in the Caddo Parish area.

“Region 7, which includes Shreveport falls below the state average in vaccinations at 30.38%. Statewide, 97% of COVID cases and deaths have been among those who were not fully vaccinated,” the statement reads.

But for those who are fully vaccinated, coming in contact with the Delta variant can lead you to these symptoms:

“They may have a mild fever, they may have a runny nose, sore throat. They may have nothing,” said Yurochko, adding this has been the case for a majority of the fully vaccinated.

“The data says high rates of vaccination,  low rates of disease. Low rates of vaccination, high rate of disease,” he said.

Aside from mask-wearing, other mitigation efforts are the same as what was recommended at the height of the pandemic: wash your hands and social distance at large gatherings.