TAMPA, Fla. — The state released the latest COVID numbers from Jan. 7 to Jan. 13 and we are seeing a decrease in the positivity rate from this week over the last.
“We may be basically over the real hump of this thing, at least in terms of daily case numbers,” said Dr. Thomas Unnasch, Distinguished USF Health Professor. That is welcome news for epidemiologists and all of us alike. The state’s positivity rate is at 29% this week. That’s down from 31% from the previous week.
Though that number is still way higher than what CDC would like to see, it is still a change in the right direction. “What that means is that the water is flowing out faster than it’s flowing in and we’re actually on the decline of this wave,” said Dr. Unnasch.
He said one of the reasons why this variant has been able to spread so effectively is because it has been proven to have far less severe symptoms than the previous variants, making it harder for people to know if they have been infected. “You’re not going to change your activities at all, are you. You’re going to be out. You’re going to be going to the movies. You’re going to be going to restaurants. You’re going to be going to work. You’re going to be going to church.”
Dr. Unnasch said it is important to continue to wear masks, especially indoors in public areas, but that not all masks are created equal. “All along there have been masks with different efficiencies, right. Cloth masks were blocking maybe 50% to 60% aerosol participles that come along,” said Dr. Unnasch.
He recommends the KN95 and N95 masks because they block about 95% of those particles. It is more important, now, to block as many participles as possible because of how much more contagious the omicron variant is. “This thing is like three times more infectious to four times more infectious than the original version that this virus was,” said Dr. Unnasch.
As for what the future holds, Dr. Unnasch said we will be living with the realities of Covid for the foreseeable future. “I think we’ll see several variants that still come to light as time moves on, unfortunately.” He said, however, they believe they will eventually mutate to a point where will just be a common cold.