Are you experiencing COVID symptoms but testing negative? Chicago’s top doc says you might need to test again, and again.
Plus, are current COVID symptoms associated with newer omicron subvariants different or more intense than previous versions of the virus?
Here’s what you need to know about the coronavirus pandemic across Illinois today:
BA.5 Omicron Subvariant Spreading Quickly, Could Become Dominant Strain of COVID in U.S.: CDC
According to the latest estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an omicron subvariant that has been the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the U.S. for more than a month is beginning to lose steam, and yet another variant of omicron is quickly gaining momentum.
Those estimates indicate that the BA.2.12.1 lineage of omicron continues to be the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the United States, and is responsible for an estimated 56% of cases.
Read more here.
How Long Are You Protected From COVID After Infection?
After being infected with COVID-19, how long are you protected with antibodies and when could you get the virus again?
As omicron makes up nearly all U.S. COVID cases, it’s a question of how protection from one version of omicron will work against newer subvariants.
Read more here.
Are COVID Symptoms Changing With New Variants? Chicago’s Top Doc Explains
Are COVID symptoms shifting with the newer omicron subvariants now spreading across the U.S.?
According to Chicago’s top doctor, the answer remains unclear. Arwady noted that milder cases of the virus can make determining symptoms more challenging.
“We’re seeing a lot of COVID that is often quite mild,” she said, though she added that some early studies may show more intense illness specifically with newer BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants.
Read more here.
Chicago’s COVID-19 community risk level is now at medium. But as the use of at-home coronavirus tests becomes widespread, questions about the accuracy of the city’s COVID metrics are also increasing.
More People Testing Negative for COVID Before Eventually Testing Positive, Top Doc Says. Here’s Why
More people are receiving multiple negative COVID tests before finally testing positive following exposure or symptoms with newer subvariants circulating, Chicago’s top doctor said Thursday.
The reason behind the shift could be due to vaccinations.
“We think some of that is because, especially if people are fully vaccinated and or if they’ve had COVID before, they’re not always…they’re not getting as sick,” Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady said. “They’re like not learning as much of an immune response and it can take a little bit longer sometimes for that test to turn positive. The good news is, generally… if the home test is negative, you’re not very likely to have enough virus to be spreading, to be contagious.”
Read more here.
Can Kids Under 5 Get the COVID Vaccine at Walgreens? Here’s What to Know
Children six months of age to 5 years old are finally eligible to receive the COVID vaccine, thanks to last week’s authorization from the Food and Drug Administration and recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
And according to the Chicago Department of Public Health, hospitals, clinics, pediatricians offices across the city are opening up appointments, and placing orders for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine to administer.
Local pharmacies and drug stores are, too.
However, not all kids are able to get the long-awaited shot at all vaccine locations.
How Long Do You Quarantine or Isolate for COVID?
With summer gatherings ramping up and brutally hot temperatures sending people indoors, many are wondering how long they need to quarantine or isolate if they are exposed to or test positive for COVID.
COVID Vaccines for Kids Under 5: How Soon Can You Make an Appointment, and Where? What to Know
Where can parents take their kids to get their first COVID vaccine dose, how soon can you make an appointment, and what’s the difference between the two vaccines?
As providers wait for their shipments of shots to come in, here’s what to know.
Coronavirus FAQ: How Soon COVID Symptoms Can Start, What to Do If You Keep Testing Positive
Even though the COVID-19 pandemic has been going on for more than two years, there are still plenty of questions that individuals may have if they end up testing positive for the virus.
Upon that positive test, patients may be curious about how long they’ll be contagious, how to isolate and for how long, and what to do if they continue to test positive for the virus even after their symptoms have cleared.
How Long Are You Contagious With COVID? Here’s What the CDC Says
If you test positive for coronavirus, you may have several questions, including how long you are contagious, how long should you quarantine for and more.
With COVID cases rising in the Chicago area and parts of the U.S., local health officials have issued warnings to take precautions, particularly in areas where transmission risk is increasing.
Here’s a look at updated guidance from the CDC, including when to quarantine or isolate and information about the incubation period.
How Accurate Are At-Home COVID Tests? Here’s What We Know So Far
With summer gatherings and events ramping up as temperatures warm, many people are testing themselves for COVID-19 to ensure they aren’t spreading the virus, but how accurate are the tests?
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “positive results from self-tests are highly reliable.”
Negative results, however, may not rule out infection, particularly in those with COVID-19 symptoms, the CDC states.
If you’re still coughing after recovering from COVID-19, are you still contagious? How long should you quarantine for and when should you get tested? Chicago Department of Public Health Commissioner Dr. Allison Arwady breaks down what to know.