Feb 25, 2022 - News

Omicron subvariant raises eyebrows as numbers improve

Change in reported COVID-19 cases per 100k people in the last two weeks
Data: N.Y. Times; Note: Maine case counts are lagging due to an ongoing data anomaly; Cartogram: Kavya Beheraj/Axios

Colorado's daily COVID case counts are now under 1,000 and the positivity rate is below the 5% benchmark, the latest numbers show, indicating major improvement.

Yes, but: The expectation of new COVID variants is tempering enthusiasm as experts eye Omicron subvariant BA.2, writes Axios' Tina Reed writes.

  • It's believed the Omicron subvariant is roughly 30% more transmissible than the original strain, WHO reported — but it may not cause more severe disease than the original Omicron strain.
  • A pre-print study out of Denmark found the subvariant is capable of reinfecting individuals who'd recently had the Omicron or Delta strains, though the phenomenon was uncommon.

Zoom in: Colorado has identified 58 cases of the subvariant, less than 1% of total cases in the first week of February.

  • State public health experts tell Axios Denver the evidence suggests the subvariant "may prolong the Omicron surge, but appears unlikely to cause a new surge."

The big picture: The U.S. is averaging roughly 82,000 new COVID cases per day — a 64% drop over the past two weeks, Axios reports.

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