COVID is still present as we approach the unofficial start of summer.

Cases are on the rise in our neighborhood as people celebrate their first regular Memorial Day in almost three years.

Allegheny, Beaver, Butler, and Westmoreland counties have a “high” COVID-19 community level, according to the CDC.

“Which is not unexpected given the more contagious varieties and individuals returning to their normal activities,” infectious disease expert Dr. Amesh Adalja said.

According to medical experts, the increase in instances is minimal compared to the peak of cases during the epidemic.

“What we’re seeing today is a slight bit closer than what we observed in January, that is when omicron started,” said Allegheny Health Network internal medicine doctor Brian Lamb.

Another encouraging aspect is that hospitalizations are not growing at the same pace as cases in our region, and medical systems are not being overburdened.

“Because the public has so much immunity, and we have so many ways to keep individuals out of the hospital,” Dr. Adalja said.

People in “high” community-level counties, regardless of vaccination status, should consider wearing a mask in public places, according to the CDC. According to Adalja, it is not a one-size-fits-all system, but if you are at greater risk, you should consider wearing one. When you’re inside, Lamb recommends wearing a mask.

“You’ve done all you can to keep yourself safe; you may as well go the additional mile,” Dr. Lamb stated.

It is recommended that you take advantage of the weather and hold more outside activities. Spread out if you’re in a more crowded environment, such as the pool or Kennywood.

According to doctors, we are entering a period in which we will have to live with COVID since it will never go away. They are hopeful that the medical community will soon be able to treat it similarly to other respiratory disorders. “That’s always been the aim, to move the severity of sickness to the milder side,” Adalja said.

According to health experts, incidences should continue to rise, but as long as diseases remain milder, we are on the right track. They claim that being vaccinated and boosted is the best way to protect yourself.

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