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Will COVID-19 cases rise again because of new variant?

Posted at 3:30 PM, Mar 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-17 18:30:23-04

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Health experts are predicting that COVID-19 cases could start rising again because of a new variant.

Crowds are gathering on Thursday to celebrate St Patrick's Day, and many people tell WPTV they believe COVID is over.

But doctors said that is not the case, emphasizing that COVID is still out there and people need to remain on guard.

Right now, cases are down and hospitals are fairly quiet, but doctors tell WPTV they're preparing for the possibility of another wave of infections.

Cases are rising in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, and the spread of a subvariant of omicron is believed to be causing the spike.

It's still unclear how contagious the variant is, but now that masks have come off after the winter surge, doctors believe cases will start rising in the next few weeks.

"The things that are in our favor is that more and more people have been vaccinated and more and more people have had it, so we're building up that herd immunity, which makes it a little less likely for a severe recurrence, but the virus is around and it's mutating," said Dr. David Dodson, an infectious disease specialist in Palm Beach County.

According to the CDC, that subvariant of omicron now makes up 23% of all COVID cases in the U.S.

Doctors said we need to learn to live with COVID for a while, and getting another booster shot is not out of the question.