Johns Hopkins health official urges vaccinations as COVID cases slowly creep up across the US

COVID-19 infections are slowing creeping up across the U.S., but health officials in the D.C. region are holding off on sounding alarms.

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Right now, a new sub-variant of Omicron has become the prominent strain spreading throughout the country, but the numbers and concerns remain lower than they were during December and January's Omicron surge.

Fox 5 spoke with a public health official Friday, who says a wait-and-see approach is needed for the impacts of this new surge. 

"It’s now the dominant form of COVID that we see in the country, but we’re not seeing huge increase in cases like we did with Omicron a few months ago, so why is that? Well, if you had Omicron, you are largely protected from this version, and a lot of people got Omicron this past few months. If you’re vaccinated, your risks are lower as well," said Gigi Gronvall from Johns Hopkins University.

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Gigi Gronvall tells Fox 5 the vaccination rates among children and in other places around the world will play a big part in ending the pandemic.

"We still have big goals that we need to fill, and one of those big goals is to keep vaccinating the world, because we want to reduce the chances that we will have a variant that is not mild and fast, like Omicron has been," said Gronvall.

Right now, the CDC says under 30% of those 5-11 are vaccinated in the U.S.

In D.C., officials have set up one-stop-shops for residents to take care of their COVID related needs in each of the District’s 8 wards. The locations allow people to get a vaccine, booster, tests or masks. Despite the offered services, lines have been scarce at these locations recently due to the lower case numbers. Polling data shows people are less concerned about COVID since the omicron surge ended.

READ MORE: Georgetown University reinstates indoor mask policy

Fox 5 spoke with several area residents who say they are trying to resume their normal lives, while also staying cautious.

"I take care of my mother who lives with us, and we need to make sure we don’t bring anything home to her, but also, I’m really concerned about the effects of Long Covid," said Danielle Edmond.

 "I’m just going out, um, like, with my friends, but not regularly" said Loraine Marinco.


According to data from Johns Hopkins, COVID case numbers in D.C. remain low, and there no COVID related hospital admissions since March 20th.