Home for the holidays as new COVID-19 infections soar


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — The Christmas tree, all the trimmings, food, and fun will be followed by a champagne toast, and for many, a new diet and fitness plan.

The nation is prepping for a second pandemic-style long holiday season, but the deadly coronavirus does not take breaks: infections are soaring in the nation’s cities and towns.

(Photo by Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

Headed to Washington D.C.? According to The New York Times, the seven-day average there is up 440%, up 102% in New York, and up a shocking 557% in Hawaii. Here in Virginia, the rate is up 55%. There’s been a corresponding increase in patients being admitted in Riverside Health System hospitals. Most of them are unvaccinated.

“Previously we had 10 to 12 patients in the hospital with COVID. Now, we have almost 30 in the hospital with COVID,” said Riverside President and COO Michael Dacey.

Omicron now represents most cases across the country. But, there is good news: it appears this variant doesn’t like the lungs.

“It still can be a real threat to unvaccinated people, but for sure it seems the initial evidence is it’s less severe to the lungs,” said Dacey.

File photo of a doctor looking at a lung x-ray (Getty Images).

If you are fully vaccinated and boosted, experts at Riverside say you should be protected from severe illness or death. But for the unvaccinated, take precautions so that this Christmas isn’t your last Christmas.

“Omicron appears it can be a significant disease in the unvaccinated people, so they have to wear a mask, keep their distance from other people, all the things that have been going on over the last two years,” said Dacey, who encourages the unvaccinated to roll up their sleeves for the free, effective and safe coronavirus vaccine.

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