San Antonio

San Antonio Metro Health monitoring new dominant Omicron subvariant amid rise in COVID-19 cases nationally

SAN ANTONIO – It might really feel a bit like deja vu. COVID-19 cases are rising throughout the nation, particularly in many northeastern states.

The uptick in cases are resulting in questions on reinstating masks mandates and one other wave of infections.

“I just want to point out that this virus is still not done with us,” mentioned Dr. Anita Kurian, Asst. Director of San Antonio Metro Health.

Kurian mentioned community-wide risk level and hospitalizations stay low in our space, however Metro Health continues to be seeing on common about 65 to 70 new cases on daily basis.

“We’ve been at this low-risk level. We’ve had that positivity rate less than 1.5% in the past, and then we have seen things take a turn for the worse,” Kurian mentioned.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, the first reason behind this uptick in cases nationally is the BA.2 omicron subvariant, which is now the dominant pressure of COVID-19.

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“It’s estimated at this time about 86% of the newly sequenced cases are BA.2,” Kurian mentioned. “It may not cause more severe infections than your omicron variant in the past, but it seems to be spreading a little bit more faster.”

As this new subvariant spreads, Metro Health is advising folks to remain vigilant, get examined both at residence or at a clinic if they’re uncovered or displaying COVID-19 signs, and most vital, get vaccinated in the event that they haven’t already or get a booster shot.

“Approximately 93% of our vaccine eligible residents, which is five years and older, have received at least one dose, and approximately 76% are fully vaccinated this time,” Kurian mentioned. “Booster vaccines improve your risk of not contracting infections in hospitals or in hospitalizations, the risk for hospitalizations and deaths as well.”

While some East Coast cities and large universities have reinstated indoor masks mandates in public areas, Kurian mentioned Metro Health is cautiously optimistic about San Antonio’s outlook, however not enjoyable suggestions.

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“We are watching a regional rate of those COVID 19 community-wide risk levels on a weekly basis. We are keeping a close eye on all those risk metrics that goes into this calculations,” Kurian mentioned. “Once we see those indicators move up into orange or high levels, we may have to rethink our strategies.”

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