DENVER — The excitement and anticipation is growing for Denver to be in the spotlight during the MLB All-Star Week, but concern is also growing around the possible spread of the delta variant.
"I am just so excited that [the MLB All-Star Game] is here in Colorado, so that everyone can see what a great place it is here and just so excited to show off our city," said Kevin Haines, who plans on attending MLB All-Star events.
Especially when it comes to a boost in business after what’s been a difficult year because of the pandemic.
"It is going to jump our economy. We’re going to get more jobs," said Marie Naegele, who is excited for All-Star Week.
It’s been a long time since Denver hosted any event as large as All-Star Week, especially because of public health restrictions. With delta variant cases already present in Colorado, doctors say people who aren’t vaccinated are at a greater risk.
"If you are not vaccinated, still wear a mask and avoid groups of large gatherings like the All-Star Game, because you would be at risk. There is going to be an unknown number of unvaccinated people that may or may not be infected with the virus," said David Beckham, an infectious disease expert with UCHealth.
For those who are vaccinated, studies show the vaccine still protects against the delta variant and the fact that All-Star Game is an outdoor event makes transmission less likely.
"We think this variant just kind of brings home the importance of being fully vaccinated against the coronavirus," said Beckham.
The Denver Department of Public Health and Environment says more than 70% of the city has gotten at least one dose of a vaccine, and in the last month, there have been a dozen confirmed cases of the delta variant.
"There is a concern both in Denver and statewide. We are seeing an increase [in the number of] Delta variant cases across the state. Granted, the numbers we’re seeing really varies by county," said Taylor Smull, an infectious disease epidemiologist with DDPHE.
For fans hoping to take part in the festivities, being vaccinated brings them peace of mind.
"I’m not too worried about the new strain myself. I am fully vaccinated," said Naegele.
For people who aren’t vaccinated, health officials want people to consider getting tested before events and wear a mask.