COVID-19 reinfections on the rise as officials call for a new booster

Jul 22, 2022, 12:54 PM
(Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)
(Photo by Go Nakamura/Getty Images)

The Washington State Department of Health has released a new report showing that COVID-19 reinfection rates are rising as the new BA.5 strain becomes the most infectious yet.

In the report, graphs show an increase in reinfections in December 2021 at the start of the Omicron strain surge before falling off in February 2022.

A similar pattern is seen with the COVID-19 BA.5 strain with reinfections slowly increasing starting in May 2022. The difference? Instead of peaking and falling quickly over the course of a few months, the resurgence of reinfections has plateaued during the summer months, neither reaching the same peaks of the Omicron surge or falling as rapidly.

BA.5 reinfects former COVID patients as health officials push for updated vaccine

While vaccinations do a lot to prevent reinfection, serious symptoms, hospitalization, and death, there are a significant number of breakthrough cases that will continue as COVID-19 becomes endemic.

Of the 59,782 cases that have been reported, only 2.6% were bad enough for hospitalization. The number of cases might not be accurate though, the report notes, and are likely much higher. With at-home testing becoming more popular, the report does not have a way to take the at-home positive tests into account.

As health officials warn of reinfection cases, they also push for a new booster to protect the public.

“For some of us, that’ll be our fifth shot. So the booster that is going to be made is new and it will contain the original, what we call the ancestral Coronavirus, but it’ll also contain BA.4- and BA.5-like sequences in them,” Dr. Keith Jerome, the Director of the University of Washington Virology Lab said.

“The idea is that if more variants come up, there is a good chance that they’ll rise from BA.4 or BA.5, that’s not a guarantee, but we’re hedging our bets that what new variants might come are most likely to be covered by one of those three variants, and you’ll be better protected if you get this new Omicron-specific booster.”

Independent scientists and physicians endorsed an updated vaccine for King County by a 19-2 vote. A new booster is expected to roll out by the fall of this year.

Local News

gas-powered leaf blower...
Frank Sumrall

Gas-powered leaf blowers facing ban in Seattle, pending council decision

Seattle is also weighing incentives for people and businesses to switch to electric leaf-blowers instead, such as a rebate program.
23 hours ago
ezells chicken harassment...
Logan Gilbert

Worker sues Ezell’s Famous Chicken over sexual harassment claims

A worker has filed a lawsuit against Ezell's Famous Chicken for sexual harassment, and she claims that they company didn't do enough to stop the harassment.
23 hours ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Joe Kent surpasses Jaime Herrera Beutler in WA 3rd Congressional District’s tightly contested race

A Trump-backed candidate for Congress, Joe Kent, has overtaken the incumbent in Washington's Third Congressional District.
23 hours ago
(Photo by Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images)...
KIRO Newsradio Newsdesk

KIRO Newsradio Headlines: Sexual assault prevention now a part of sex-ed, Boeing’s Dreamliner returns

KIRO Newsradio Headlines brings you a selection of quick stories to catch up on your news in the morning of Aug. 8
23 hours ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Video: Watch US Army paratroopers skydive from 12,500 feet for Seafair 2022

KIRO Newsradio films the U.S. Army Parachute Team — also known as the Golden Knights — jump from 12,500 feet into the air for Seafair 2022.
23 hours ago
(KIRO 7)...
MyNorthwest Staff

Seafair hydroplane race decided by penalty once again, Kelly wins fourth contest

It’s the third consecutive race that Shane saw a win at Seafair taken away via penalty and it’s the fourth consecutive Final at Seafair decided by penalty.
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
COVID-19 reinfections on the rise as officials call for a new booster