Omicron BF.7, an offshoot of BA.5, is the latest subvariant to raise red flags among experts tracking COVID-19 in the U.S. This week, BF.7 passed BA.2.75, another worrying lineage, in the CDC’s prevalence estimates: the CDC found that it caused about 2.3% of new cases nationwide in the week ending September 24.
Last Sunday, 60 Minutes aired an interview with President Joe Biden in which he declared the pandemic is “over,” noting that everyone at the Detroit Auto Show “seems to be in pretty good shape.” But there are millions of Americans Biden wasn’t seeing: people who aren’t in good shape.
Nationally, official COVID-19 case counts continue to decline: reported cases are down about 11% last week compared to the prior week, while new COVID-19 patients in hospitals are down 10%. But signals from wastewater and variants suggest a fall surge may be starting soon.
Tomorrow afternoon, patient-advocates living with Long COVID and other chronic diseases will be at the White House demanding that the federal government act urgently to address these conditions. The protest’s demands include nationwide education on ME/CFS and Long COVID, education specifically for doctors in diagnosing these conditions, funding for research and potential treatments, and economic support for patients.
COVID-19 is still a public health emergency. At the moment, this is true according to both the general definition of this term and official declarations by the federal government. But the latter could change in the coming months, likely leading to more fragmentation in U.S. COVID-19 data.
Officially-reported COVID-19 cases are still on the decline nationwide this week, as are newly hospitalized patients (a more reliable metric). About 4,400 people with COVID-19 were admitted to hospitals across the country, compared to over 6,000 a day in late July. But wastewater data are suggesting a potential new surge.