‘Stealth Omicron' Cases Continue Rapid Rise in Midwest, CDC Estimates Say

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The “stealth omicron” subvariant has only been the dominant strain of COVID in the United States for less than a month, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now believes that it is responsible for more than 80% of new cases of the virus.

According to the latest updated estimates from the CDC, it is believed that the BA.2 subvariant of omicron is responsible for 85.9% of new COVID infections in the United States over the last week.

In some parts of the country, that number is even higher, with more than 92% of cases in New York and New Jersey now linked to that subvariant, the CDC says.

In the Midwest, the CDC says that 83.7% of cases are believed to be linked to the subvariant. Less than one month ago, the BA.2 subvariant made up less than 15% of cases, according to the department’s estimates.

That rapid growth in subvariant cases is part of a trend of increasing cases in the state of Illinois. Since the start of April, Illinois has seen its daily case rate climb by 45%, with an average of 1,747 cases per day in the last seven days.

Hospitalizations have not shown signs of rapid increase either at the national level or at the state level, with health officials saying that most of Illinois is still at a “low” transmission risk of COVID.

As a result, public health officials say that they are not considering additional mitigation actions at this time, ruling out a return to mask mandates and other such orders for the time being.

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