NYSDOH: COVID numbers up with new variant accounting for 17% of new cases
The latest data from the New York State Department of Health has shown an uptick in new COVID-19 cases.
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The most recent data, released on Aug. 2, shows that cases increased by 55% since the prior week.
The increase comes with the emergence of a new variant called EG.5 as a dominant strain.
The centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it is another Omicron offshoot that is responsible for 17% of new COVID-19 cases in the country.
“It’s probably more infectious, so it’s getting a toehold in the community because it’s easier to pass from person to person,” says Dr. Sharon Nachman, of Stony Brook Children’s Hospital.
Nachman people are not necessarily getting sicker and those coming to the hospital often have underlying comorbidities.
Health experts believe the heat is keeping people indoors, and summer travel is also helping to drive the uptick in COVID cases.
Stephanie Mills, a mother of 14, says she is worried.
“Definitely with all the kids going through, they get the slightest cold when they go to school, so I’m nervous about that,” Mills says.
Safiya Taylor, of Port Jefferson, says it’s not much of a concern for her because she has had it twice and is OK. She also says she feels like the doctors are better at taking care of people with the virus.
Doctors say it is unlikely that the recent rise in cases will ever reach the levels seen at the height of the pandemic, prevention is still important.
Nachman advises everyone to wash their hands if they are coughing and sneezing into them and wear a mask if they are feeling sick.
“That’s going to help protect your family, your community and your workplace,” Nachman says.