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COVID BA.2 variant: Expert says Bay Area cases ‘double in 2 weeks’, expects slight increase after Easter celebrations


SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) – As the BA.2 subvariant of omicron continues to spread, the CDC confirms that this strain is now responsible for 86% of coronavirus cases nationwide.

Locally, researchers are also seeing an increase in cases.

RELATED: Dozens of Marin Co. Students Test Positive for COVID After DC School Trip

“Most cases in the Bay Area and Sacramento are caused by BA.2,” said Alexandria Boehm, a professor in Stanford’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Professor Boehm is part of a team tracking 12 aquatic plants in Northern California.

Luz Pena: “How fast are they going?

Professor Boehm: “Based on water, it looks like they might be doubling in two weeks.”

Right now they are detecting a strong increase in Gilroy.

“COVID-19 is not gone and is likely to continue to affect our lives for the foreseeable future,” Professor Boehm said.

Today, the CDC extended the federal mask mandate for planes, trains, and buses until at least May 3.

“What the federal government and the state government should do is increase and decrease mask requirements as we see cases go up and down. If cases go up, I think that’s warranted. , we make sure to keep people safe on public transportation, airplanes, and other close-in-door environments,” said Joe Derisi, CZ BioHub Chair & UCSF Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics.

RELATED: CDC to extend federal mask mandate on planes, transit for 2 weeks

With Passover and Easter approaching, Professor Derisi, Chairman of the CZ BioHub, recommends: “If you are meeting with a large group of people in your home, consider doing a rapid antigen test for people. Then everything the world is negative coming in through the door with good confidence not wearing a mask inside.”

Professor DeRisi thinks there might be a slight increase in BA. 2 after the holidays.

“We’ll probably see a slight increase here in the Bay Area,” DeRisi said and added, “It might be a little different in other parts of the country. We’re not currently anticipating a spike in omicron style in January as we have seen before because there are already a large number of people who were infected in January who will have new immunity against BA.2, plus their vaccines.”

Professor Boehm said flu cases were also increasing slightly. An increase that goes hand in hand with the lifting of mask mandates.

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