you're reading...

Cornelius News

New COVID variant spreading, but not overwhelming hospitals

July 19. By Dave Yochum. As key COVID-19 metrics increase due to the BA.5 variant, medical experts are saying it is “incredibly contagious.”

Dr. David Priest, Novant Health’s chief safety, quality and epidemiology officer, today said the new COVID wave is “running through the community,” but it has plateaued.

“It’s not translating to really high hospital levels but it is still a significant burden,” Priest said. Click here for a video of his full remarks.

Get a booster

Meanwhile, Gov. Roy Cooper is reminding North Carolinians to stay prepared by being up to date on vaccines and boosters, having a supply of tests and seeking treatment if they test positive.

BA.5 is now the most common variant, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has labeled 41 of North Carolina’s counties as high COVID-19 Community levels.

Repeat infections

The variant is causing repeat infections, even in those who have recent past infections from other variants, and infections in people who are vaccinated.

Vaccines prevent severe outcomes

Nevertheless, vaccines remain highly effective in preventing severe outcomes including hospitalization and death from COVID-19.

Mecklenburg County is at CDC COVID-19 Community Level Medium/Yellow after just one week at COVID-19 Community Level Low/Green.

The change from low to medium reflects an increase in positive cases.

Early evidence suggests BA.5 is potentially more contagious and more resistant to immunity from vaccines or previous COVID-19 illness, Priest said.

People should strongly consider masking in public places and on public transportation, Priest said.

”We are hoping it will run out of people to infect. Hospitalization has hopefully peaked but it remains to be seen when it will start going down,” Priest added.