KANSAS CITY, Kan. — Americans are looking ahead to a summer of fun without masks, other mandates, and COVID-19 case spikes.
The Biden administration asks people to look beyond their vacation.
It warned Monday that there could be another COVID-19 surge this fall and winter, and it could impact more than 100 million people. That is nearly one-third of the American population, according to the Washington Post.
Doctors at the University of Kansas Health System agree it’s likely there will be another COVID-19 surge of some kind later this year.
“In the fall it’s going to be getting colder. You’re going to be having people get together more indoors. It’s almost suspected that there will be a surge in infections,” Dr. Dana Hawkinson, Medical Director of Infection Prevention and Control at the University of Kansas Health System, said during an update provided by the health system.
One of Hawkinson’s biggest concerns isn’t necessarily the overall number of future cases, but the number of people who could be hospitalized with severe illness caused by the virus.
He also points out that with so much at-home testing, it may be difficult for hospitals and health departments to know exactly how many people are ill with the virus at any given time. That could impact how health agencies are able to respond to future surges.
In addition, a vaccine hasn’t been approved yet for children 5 years old and younger, and while they haven’t been the hardest hit, they are the largest group of unvaccinated people remaining.
Hawkinson said families and individuals need to do everything they can to protect themselves and loved ones.
“So I think it continues to be incumbent upon every individual to make sure that their family, their bubble is most protected and the way to do that is by getting vaccinated begin up to date with your vaccination and then again if you do have symptoms, get tested early,” Hawkinson said.
He also pointed out that there is a fairly new anti-viral medicine available now called Paxlovid.
“Paxlovid which is still working very well to help reduce your risk of hospitalization. Do all of those things and I think you will continue to be safe throughout that time,” Hawkinson said.