Following the same pattern we’ve seen for the last few weeks, COVID-19 spread is still on the decline nationally. Official case counts, hospital admissions, and wastewater surveillance data all continue to point in this direction.
As I predicted last week, the brief dip in reported COVID-19 cases was a result of the Memorial Day holiday, not an actual signal of the BA.2/BA.2.12.1 wave reaching its peak. National case counts are up again this week, with the country still reporting over 100,000 new cases a day. And remember, the true infection rate could be five or more times higher, thanks to under-testing.
America’s current COVID-19 surge is being driven by BA.2 and its sublineage BA.2.12.1. But there are other versions of Omicron out there to which we need to pay attention—namely, BA.4 and BA.5. Here’s a brief FAQ on these two subvariants, including why scientists are concerned about them and where they’re spreading in the U.S.
As cases rise in the U.S. and other parts of the world, Omicron subvariants are a continued culprit. Experts are watching closely to see if further mutations of the virus may become even more contagious, or may gain the ability to evade immunity from prior infections and vaccinations.
New COVID-19 cases are still rising in the U.S., as the country continues to face the Omicron subvariant BA.2 and its offshoots. While at levels much lower than what we saw in December and January, daily new cases have more than doubled in the last month.
As though it’s not already confusing enough to distinguish between Omicron BA.1 and BA.2, more sublineages have popped up in recent weeks as Omicron continues to spread and mutate. Here are two that I’m watching, though they don’t seem to be major causes for concern at this time.