HCHD said county is on “High Alert” from new Covid variant

The BA.5 variant is now the most dominant strain of COVID-19 in the country

Data from the CDC presents that roughly 31,000 people across the U.S. are currently hospitalized with the virus and admissions are up 4.5% compared to a week ago

The unique element of this new variant is its ability to partially side-step the immunity people have from prior infections and vaccinations.

Dr. Stephen Miller with the Hamilton County Health Department said despite the fact they are new sub-variants, the vaccine is still their best method of protection.

“I do believe people need to be more vigilant than they have been. Despite the fact these are new variants or sub variants, the vaccine is still quite effective. Our people need to bear in mind that if they’re due for their boosters, they need to seek that out as well,” said Miller

The health department said local cases and hospitalizations are up and Hamilton County is considered to be on ‘High Alert’

“As you know we have seen a spike, and when the county is considered to be in a high alert, we are back to recommending more masking again especially indoors. In terms of testing, I will let you know that our health department here is giving out approximately 200 home use COVID kits per day. We are not seeing as high of mortality as we saw with the alpha and the Delta strains. But, even people that work in larger organizations, they’re seeing more absences. Again, we do know that it’s out in the community,” Miller said.

To see local numbers updated daily for Covid – 19 hospitalizations and cases you can visit health.hamiltontn.org.

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