Dr. Voccio gives COVID-19 update

May 11, 2022–4:27 p.m.

STAFF REPORTS

COVID-19 hospitalizations have remained at their lowest since the start of the pandemic.

However, cases in the United States have doubled in the past two weeks.

Dr. Gary Voccio, health director for the 10-county Georgia Department of Public Health Northwest District, gave an update Wednesday morning on WRGA’s First News with Tony McIntosh.

“It’s not a huge number, but we’ve had increases in Georgia’s numbers by about 65% in the past two weeks,” he said.  “It’s not manifesting in an increase in hospitalizations, fortunately.  Hospitalizations are marginally up by about 10%.  Unfortunately, in the past week, we have had a 36% increase in deaths in Georgia.”

He said many experts predict a bump in cases as we head into the summer, but it’s difficult to know how big it will be.

“In my opinion, with about 56-60% of the population vaccinated, and a smaller percentage have had prior COVID, we are going to see a bump,” he said.  “It may not be as high or as significant as we have seen in the past, and hopefully won’t manifest in significant hospitalizations.  I don’t think that will happen, but this virus can change and have a variant that’s more deadly.  We probably will see a bump, but it’s hard to predict how big that will be, but I don’t think it will be a large number like we have seen in the past.”

The Omicron variant still accounts for the majority of the cases we are seeing now, with the BA 2 variant accounting for about 40% of the cases.

Of course, there are still vaccines and boosters available.

Call the health department or talk to your medical provider.

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