Yale doctor weighs in on omicron variant as COVID positivity rate in Conn. reaches nearly 15%

New Haven

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — At this point, you probably know someone who has COVID-19 right now. A doctor at Yale tells News 8 he would be surprised if you didn’t, and that it’s very likely you will be exposed to omicron within the next couple of weeks.

“If you’re feeling sick right now, there is a very good chance that it is COVID,” Dr. F. Perry Wilson, a clinical researcher at the Yale School of Medicine said. “I mean that is the type of prevalence we’re talking about.”

Angela Collins spent Tuesday afternoon getting a COVID-19 test in North Haven as Connecticut reached nearly 15% positivity across the state.

“I think a lot of people are walking around having it and not realizing they even have it,” Collins said.

Wilson said a major factor is omicron.

“Omicron is so highly transmissible and obviously even can infect people who are vaccinated and even some people who have been boosted that it’s just running rampant through the state,” Wilson said.

He said the number of positive cases is probably higher than what is being reported because at-home rapid tests are not recorded by the state, and many people are not testing at all, fearing the possibility of quarantine as a result.

“The number of cases of coronavirus is becoming a less meaningful metric to judge the severity of the pandemic,” Wilson said.

Instead, Wilson said we should focus more on hospitalizations, and in the future, deaths, which can really stress the health system.

Right now, hospitalizations are just under 1,000, but they are on the rise. At this time last year, before vaccines, they were at 1,200. The peak was 2,000 at the start of the pandemic.

To slow the spread, Wilson said the state should reinstate some restrictions.

“I think indoor mask mandates are appropriate at this point in time,” Wilson said.

He said if hospitals start filling up, additional measures might have to be taken.

“You have to do what you can to protect yourself,” Wilson said. “Number one thing there is, getting vaccinated and boosted.”

According to Wilson, we’re on the upswing of a wave of infections. Eventually, we will come off that wave.

What could help reduce that upswing is taking precautions — besides getting vaccinated and boosted — wash your hands, wear your mask, social distance and avoid large crowds.

Copyright 2022 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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