Experts Say Despite More COVID Subvariants, Little Chance of Surge

An illustration of COVID-19 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

FALMOUTH –  Health officials say that unlike previous coronavirus variants, the latest subvariant of omicron reported in Europe and parts of the U.S. likely poses little threat of a surge.

Falmouth Health Agent Scott McGann said that the new subvariant only makes up about a quarter of current declining case counts.

McGann said that the variant’s lower spread is likely due to how few potential hosts there are between vaccinated individuals and those who already had omicron and built a natural resistance, though more data is on the way.

The nation’s top infectious disease expert Dr. Anthony Fauci also said that he did not believe a surge would result from the new subvariant of omicron. 

As Barnstable County remains in the CDC’s green category related to COVID transmission, and statewide the 7-day percent positivity rests at about 1.7 percent, experts continue to say that the worst of the pandemic is behind us. 

As a result, masking has largely been left in residents’ own hands, with most schools and towns having dropped mask mandates in indoor settings or at least referring to current CDC guidance, which is masks-are-optional for green category communities like Barnstable County.

Private businesses may still enact their own mask requirements.

McGann added that testing services are being wound down, with the county’s site at the Cape Cod Church being phased out soon. 

“No one is showing up there. I just doesn’t make sense [to continue],” said McGann. 

At-home rapid tests have largely replaced state- and county-run testing services as accessibility to kits continues to increase, said McGann. 

Other testing service options are still available through a variety of other locations and agencies, which can be found online on the county’s Department of Health and Environment website here.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the News Center in 2019.
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