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Covid Strikes Again

Covid Strikes Again
The COVID-19 pandemic is not over yet, and new variants of the virus are posing new challenges and risks. One of the latest variants, EG.5, also known as Eris, is now the most prevalent strain in the U.S., accounting for more than 20% of new cases. Eris is a descendant of Omicron, which was first detected in November 2021 and has since spawned many subvariants. Eris has one additional mutation in its spike protein that may help it evade some of the immunity from previous infection or vaccination. However, there is no evidence that Eris causes more severe disease or death than other variants.

As Eris and other variants spread, some schools and businesses are reinstating mask mandates to protect their students, staff, and customers. Masking is a proven way to reduce the transmission of COVID-19, especially in indoor settings where ventilation may be poor. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear a mask in public indoor spaces in areas with high or substantial COVID-19 transmission. You can check the level of transmission in your county on the CDC website.

In addition to masking, other preventive measures are still important to keep yourself and others safe from COVID-19. These include:
  • Getting vaccinated as soon as possible if you are eligible and have not done so yet. Vaccines are safe and effective at preventing severe illness and death from COVID-19, even against variants like Eris.
  • Practicing physical distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from people who are not from your household.
  • Avoiding large gatherings and crowded places where the virus can easily spread.
  • Washing your hands frequently with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • Staying home and isolating yourself if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or test positive for the virus.
  • Seeking medical attention if you have trouble breathing or other signs of severe illness.
By following these steps, you can help slow down the spread of COVID-19 and its variants, and protect yourself and your community. For more information and updates on COVID-19, please visit [WHO] or [CDC]. Stay safe and healthy!
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