But as cases of COVID-19 and hospitalizations increase in other parts of the world, the question arises: is another surge expected in the home?
“How do I feel about COVID? Comfortable. Obviously we’re all standing here without masks at the moment. So just follow any protocol,” said Jerry Shank of Mount Laurel.
As the weather warms and many of the restrictions associated with the pandemic are lifted, in the Delaware Valley many are willing to leave COVID behind.
But not everyone feels that way.
“I just feel like it’s not over yet,” said Laura Haggins of Pensauken, who has a two-year-old son who cannot be vaccinated against COVID-19.
And while health officials in Philadelphia say everything is “all clear,” that is, without restrictions, other parts of the world are struggling with COVID jumps.
In Hong Kong, hospitals are struggling to keep up with the growing number of patients.
In Germany, the number of infections has increased by 45% since the beginning of March.
“I think it’s surprisingly changing in Europe. There are places where it’s falling sharply, others where it seems to be growing, and I honestly don’t know what explains it,” said Dr. Frederick Bushman, co-director of the Center for Research. coronavirus and other new Penn pathogens studying COVID-19 variants.
Right now, researchers are focusing on BA.2, a subvariant of the omicron.
The CDC estimates that about 23% of COVID cases in the U.S. last week were related to BA.2.
In Region 3, which includes Pennsylvania and Delaware, 20% of new cases were BA.2, and in Region 2, including New Jersey, 39% of COVID cases were from the new omicron variant.
There is also a delta crown, which is a combination of a delta and an omicron.
Researchers say it is not as common as BA.2, there are only a few cases of “deltacron”.
So far, scientists do not think it is more dangerous than the original viruses, but they are watching.
Across the U.S., 65% of test sites detected COVID in all wastewater samples over the past 15 days, and 38% reported an increase in COVID.
This includes two water areas in Montgomery County.
Against the background of all this information, the advice of researchers should be flexible.
“Everything seems to be in decline now, and that’s great,” Bushman said. “So it’s advisable to think about easing. But if they suddenly turn the other way, we’ll have to go back to more caution, and it will be frustrating, but it won’t be a shock.”
He also says the best way to prevent more options is to get vaccinated and take proper precautions.
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