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UVA doctors hopeful COVID-19 cases will drop

Published: Feb. 4, 2022 at 5:35 PM EST
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Although COVID-19 transmission remains high, Doctor Costi Sifri with UVA Health is remaining optimistic about the potential for cases to drop over the next few weeks.

“There’s been a lot of discussion in anticipation of we’ll see a rapid decline,” Dr. Sifri said Friday, February 4.

Just because rates are down right now, it doesn’t mean we’re in the clear.

“At some point they’ll come down to a low level and that we can start to ease some of the restrictions and some of the precautions that we’re using now,” Sifri said. “We are still really in the middle of a very high number of case rates and test positivity.”

The worry is that a variant of omicron known as BA2 may affect this decline.

“It does appear to have a bit of a competitive advantage in terms of transmissibility,” Sifri said. “Unfortunately, the number of boosters that are being given in terms of COVID vaccines are outpacing first-dose vaccines. It still remains the case that a portion of our population, maybe 15% or 20%, overall, are not interested in and have not received a COVID vaccine.”

The doctor says the majority of COVID-19 hospitalizations are from people who have not gotten a booster shot.

“It is rare that we see anybody that’s hospitalized with COVID infection and active clinical disease who’s received a booster. The rare cases that we have seen are in patients who have multiple medical conditions and are typically immunocompromised. So these are people that have a difficult time responding to the vaccine.,” Sifri said.

Medical experts continue to recommend that you get vaccinated and wear a mask.

“While things appear to be improving, I think we still need to exercise caution and all the care that we’ve learned over the past two years about how to protect ourselves,” Doctor Reid Adams with UVA Health said.

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