New subvariant raises concerns

A NEW SUBVARIANT of coronavirus is raising concerns (Shutterstock).

Is there a new wave of coronavirus coming our way?

While Orange County statistics on the COVID-19 pandemic show a winding down of the crisis, a wider focus indicates possible trouble ahead.

A subvariant of Omicron – dubbed BA.2 – is believed to be behind recent increases in new confirmed coronavirus cases both in California and across the United States.

The New York Times is reporting that – over a 14-day period – new cases are up by 32 percent in the U.S. Deaths are down by 28 percent. In California, Los Angeles Times has calculated that new cases have risen by 21 percent over a similar period, while deaths declined by 12 percent.

BA.2 is said to spread more easily than its BA.1 “cousin,” and those most at risk are the unvaccinated and those who have not received a “booster” shot of vaccine.

In Friday’s report from the Orange County Health Care Agency, confirmed new cases in the latest reporting period – Tuesday through Thursday – total 711, for a daily average of 237.

Twenty-one deaths have been reported, for a daily average of seven.

A week ago, the OCHCA’s count (based on the totals from Thursday, April 7) was 179 new cases and eight deaths.

Sixty-seven people are hospitalized and 13 are in intensive care units.

To date, the OC has had 549,429 cases, of which 538,707 are considered recovered. The death total is at 6,958.

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