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Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Bay Area doctors fear another winter COVID-19 surge

SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) – A rise in COVID cases in California has Bay Area infectious disease experts sounding the alarm. 

“It’s a concern that the numbers are going up at a time when in less than three weeks from Thanksgiving and we know what happened 10-days after Thanksgiving last year and after that Christmas and all the holiday parties including new years and that’s what very disconcerting,” Dr. John Swartzberg, UC Berkeley Infectious Disease specialist, said.  

To make matters worse, not enough of those who are most vulnerable have gotten their booster shot. 

“Waning immunity is real, booster does fix waning immunity at least for multiple months, but we are not giving out as many as we need to, I think this morning it was 3.4 million and there are 5.7 million 65 or older in California so must on that basis it needs to go out,” Dr. George Rutherford, UCSF Epidemiology professor, said. 

With holiday gatherings approaching there are several ways to protect yourself.

“One thing you can do is say you need to be vaccinated to come, I have gotten wedding invitations like that, another thing you can do is do it like last year, have as much outside as possible and have family groups separated at different tables,” Dr. Rutherford said.

Another protective step is to have everyone attending that gathering take a rapid test the morning of the vent.  

“The nice thing about those rapid antigen tests is you get the results in 15 minutes and it is very accurate as to whether you might be infectious to someone else,” Dr. Matt Willis, Marin County Health Officer, said. 

If we are at the beginning of a winter surge, what remains to be seen is how bad it will be.  

That’s why medical experts say we are racing against the clock to get young people vaccinated and to get the booster to those most at risk.

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