NEW YORK - There’s an uptick in COVID-19 cases again this summer. The CDC says a more contagious variant, called EG.5, is behind the latest wave of infections and an increase in summer travel and the recent heatwave, which kept lots of people indoors, could be partly to blame.
The New York State Department of Health says hospital admissions are up but are much lower than they were during the peak of the pandemic.
But "more contagious" doesn’t mean you’ll get sicker from this strain than from previous ones.
Public health officials say since a vast majority of New Yorkers have been vaccinated, or have been previously infected, most will have a mild illness.
Epidemiologist Dr. Danielle Ompad says people should be vigilant but not panicked.
Rapid tests are still effective. You can check the expiration date on old tests if you still have them or check the manufacturer’s website to see if those dates have been extended.
If you want to check the hospitalization rates in your area you can go to the CDC map on their website and select your county.
However, keep in mind, since fewer people have severe cases now, that data doesn’t represent how many people are currently infected.
The latest booster shot will be available this fall.