UVA doctors weigh in on the future of COVID-19
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - We have seen declines in COVID case counts before, but is this one different from the rest? UVA doctors say in the long run, they aren’t sure.
“I’m fairly confident, I think we can anticipate the spring and hopefully, this summer going to be, you know, COVID is going to be much less of an issue for us on a day to day basis, but we should anticipate that it could come back,” UVA Health’s Dr. Costi Sifri said.
While many parts of America are experiencing lower rates of transmission, much of Virginia is in high transmission according to the CDC.
“Virginia is lagging behind the rest of the country. So, even though you’re sort of seeing the 70 or 80% of states, you don’t have to wear masks indoors right now. In Virginia it’s really prudent to wear your mask because two weeks from now we’ll be out of the woods. We’re not quite there yet,” Petri said.
As warmer months approach, Petri says we can look forward to a continued decline.
“I think we’re in for a nice period of time, where transmission is going to be very low, and we’re not going to have to mask in the grocery store. I think wait, like two or three weeks or something we will be there,” Petri said.
This decline, Petri says, is different.
“The thing that’s really different this time is that so many people got infected with omicron and so many people have been vaccinated, that we have the highest level of immunity against COVID that we’ve ever had in the U.S. and that’s very good news,” Petri said.
But, concerns for the future continue.
“I think we really need to remain vigilant and understand that new variants could pop up and could present new challenges,” Sifri said. “Nothing is guaranteed.”
For now, they say we have to wait and see.
“It could be that we’re totally out of the woods and we’ll just look back on this and say, oh, thank goodness and it could be that we’ll have to have like some regular boosters,” Petri said. “We’re just not far enough along to know for sure.”
The CDC continues to recommend masking in high areas of transmission, which the majority of the Commonwealth is still in.
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