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Colorado public health experts monitoring increase in COVID-19 cases in the Northeast

Rise partly fueled by BA.2 variant
COVID-19 vaccine
Posted at 5:07 PM, Apr 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-12 21:04:16-04

DENVER — Living through a pandemic for the last two years has caused some to feel fatigued.

“I'm over stressing out about stuff like this," said Lauren Moreno.

"Me too, it just took up too much time,” said Alexis Moreno, Lauren's sister.

For others, despite this most recent sense of normalcy, concerns linger.

“Feels like it's almost normal, but I can see the threat coming from somewhere,” said Robby Del Rosario.

Right now, that somewhere is in the Northeast, where average cases are rising by up to 64 percent — an increase western states are likely to see within weeks. But local health experts say the most impacted would be the unvaccinated population.

“While we are likely to see another upsurge in transmission and some higher case volume like other parts of the U.S. are starting to see now, I don't think we've got major concerns about seeing the same high levels of hospitalization and deaths because we do have significant protections in place now, especially through vaccination,” said Glen Mays, professor of health policy at the University of Colorado School of Public Health.

Colorado is currently experiencing low hospitalization rates with a slight uptick in cases.

The state health department tells Denver7 it is closely monitoring the new variant, BA.2, and believes there is a high level of immunity because of vaccination and prior infection.

Still, Dr. Michelle Barron, senior medical director of infection prevention with UCHealth, says a potential increase in cases remains important.

“At the end of the day, the goal still should be to try and protect yourself from getting any of these strains and not just be completely dismissive or fatalistic that, 'I’m going to get it anyway, so might as well get it over with,'” said Barron.

If hospitalizations and deaths do increase over time, some would be in favor of masks returning indoors.

“Personally, I don't mind as long as it prevents the COVID from becoming worse,” said Del Rosario.

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