There was a certain amount of concern in some circles that abandoning mask mandates and taking other steps toward normalcy in response to dwindling COVID-19 infection rates could backfire. While it would be premature to assume the U.S. is headed for lockdowns like China is experiencing at present, new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention do underscore the need for continued vigilance here. For example, as time goes on, it becomes more evident that new infections attributable to the BA.2 variant are growing at an alarming rate. Per the CDC data, cases of BA.2 COVID have doubled every week over the past month, putting it on track to become the dominant form of SARS-CoV-2 infection. BA.2 has been blamed for 39% of new cases in New Jersey and New York for the week leading up to March 12, up from 25.4% the previous week. The most recent data from the Northeast region (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont) are similar, putting the proportion of new cases due to BA.2 at 38.6%, up from 24% a week earlier. Also concerning is the discovery of yet another variant—Deltacron, so named because it possesses a combination of genes found in both the Delta and Omicron variants. (To date, incidence of new cases attributable to Deltacron is low.)

Update: Emerging Intel May Explain Why New Cases of COVID-19 Are Creeping Up (Again)
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