COVID cases are on the rise again in New York City as the BA.2 variant grows more prevalent, though the numbers are still a tiny fraction of the peaks seen earlier this year.
As of Monday morning, the city’s latest data had the rolling seven-day average of new cases at 610, up nearly 10% in a week.
Transmission rates are on the rise as well. In Manhattan, the rate of new cases per 100,000 people is up almost 10% in the last month and up about 17% in just the last week. One out of every 1,000 Manhattan residents has been infected in the last seven days.
To be sure, these numbers are a tiny fraction of where they were at the worst of the omicron variant surge, when things were perhaps 30x worse than they are now. Hospitalizations also continue to fall, and are about 1% of what they were at the worst of omicron in early January.
But public health advocates are warning society may have become too complacent about COVID already, given the surging number of infections, hospitalizations and deaths in Europe the last few weeks from BA.2’s rise.
1/ This is the calm before another #COVID storm in the U.S., which will be worse than it should be due to short-term and hopeful thinking. The #BA.2 cycle has already started here and will be in full bloom in ~2-3 weeks with a much bigger surge than anyone saw coming.🧵
— Myoung Cha (@cha_myoung) March 19, 2022
According to the CDC, the BA.2 variant accounts for 39% of COVID circulating in New York and New Jersey right now. By comparison, it’s responsible for about a quarter of new infections nationally. Its prevalence has doubled in just the last week or so.
On Friday, the Biden administration’s incoming COVID czar Dr. Ashish Jha said he wasn’t expecting the latest variant to trigger yet another national surge in infections, given the overwhelming prevalence of those vaccinated and boosted.