COVID data tracker weekly review : interpretive summary for February 3, 2023
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COVID data tracker weekly review : interpretive summary for February 3, 2023

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  • English

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    • Alternative Title:
      Variant Roundup
    • Description:
      Variant Roundup

      The virus that causes COVID-19 is constantly changing. We continue to see new lineages of the Omicron variant, such as XBB.1.5, emerge and spread in the United States. This week, we provide an update on the most common Omicron lineages currently circulating in the United States.

      • XBB.1.5 is a sublineage of the XBB lineage, which is a combination of two earlier Omicron lineages: BM.1.1 and BJ. As Nowcast projected, XBB.1.5 has risen to be the predominant Omicron lineage in the United States, accounting for an estimated 66.4% of all new cases. It is the only major lineage currently increasing in proportion in the country. Learn more about XBB.1.5 in A Closer Look below.

      • BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 are sublineages of the BA.5 lineage of the Omicron variant. BA.5 and its sublineages are continuing to decrease in proportion nationally. According to Nowcast projections, BQ.1 and BQ.1.1 together represent about 27% of all weekly cases.

      • CH.1.1 is a sublineage of BA.2.75. CH.1.1 is predicted to make up an estimated 1.6% of circulating viruses nationally, according to Nowcast projections. These percentages represent a steady decline.

    • Content Notes:
      It’s time to pick out your costume and get ready to celebrate Halloween! Over the past two-plus years, we’ve learned new ways to enjoy pandemic holidays, and “outside is always safer” has been the mantra for these holiday gatherings. Luckily, that’s easy to do on Halloween, because trick-or-treating generally involves plenty of outdoor time. But that doesn’t mean it’s totally risk-free. Here are some more tips for staying COVID-safe this Halloween.

      • Stay home if you’re sick. Skip the Halloween party if you aren’t feeling well.

      • Get tested if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

      • Take precautions in crowded or indoor events as informed by your county’s COVID-19 Community Level, like wearing a high-quality mask (and Halloween masks don’t count). Consider making the mask part of the costume—like a doctor, nurse, ninja, or cowboy.

      • If you’re hosting celebrations, review options for improving ventilation in your home. This can help you reduce virus particles in your home and keep COVID-19 from spreading.

      • Keep your hands clean. If you’re out trick-or-treating, bring hand sanitizer. If you’re giving out candy, wash your hands frequently.

      And of course, the best way to protect yourself and others from severe illness from COVID-19 on Halloween (and every day) is to stay up to date on your COVID-19 vaccinations! Use this tool to find out when you can get a booster.

      Note to Readers: On October 12, 2022, CDC recommended updated (bivalent) COVID-19 boosters for children ages 5 years and older in the United States, making the updated boosters available to millions of children in this age group.

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